Bill seeks to penalize unauthorized use, sale of ‘wang-wang’

By Wilnard Bacelonia

April 16, 2024, 7:25 pm

<p><em>(Contributed photo)</em></p>

(Contributed photo)

MANILA – Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva on Tuesday filed a bill seeking to prohibit the unauthorized use and sale of “wang-wang” (beacons, sirens, and other similar devices), except for specified law enforcement agencies.

Senate Bill (SB) No. 2635, or the Anti-Wang Wang Act, is in line with Administrative Order (AO) No. 18 issued by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. barring government officials and employees from using sirens and blinkers.

Villanueva emphasized that the misuse of emergency vehicle lights and audio accessories by drivers, especially politicians, poses road safety concerns and erodes public trust.

He also noted that existing regulations lack uniformity, leading to ineffective enforcement.

“This bill aims to establish a cohesive framework to regulate and deter unauthorized use, ensuring proper use for appropriate cases like transporting patients which is aligned with the constitutional principle of protecting life and property and promoting general welfare,” Villanueva said during the regular Kapihan sa Senado media forum.

Under the bill, violators will be fined from PHP1,000 to PHP5,000 with a possibility of the suspension of their driver's license for a period of one year.

Meanwhile, manufacturers, distributors, importers, retailers, and sellers who engage in unauthorized sale of the accessories shall be fined PHP50,000 but not more than PHP100,000 for every sale.

SB 2635 also assigns responsibilities to relevant agencies for effective implementation, as well as mandates an awareness campaigns lawful use and penalties.

Vehicles designated for official use by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Corrections, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and other law enforcement agencies will be exempted from the coverage of the measure.

President Marcos issued AO 18 after receiving reports of rampant unauthorized and indiscriminate use of sirens, blinkers and other similar signaling or flashing devices, causing traffic disruptions and unsafe road and traffic environments. (PNA)