PNP orders crackdown on sirens, blinker users in run-up to SEA Games, holiday season

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) Officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa on Friday ordered an intensified implementation of the existing prohibition on the use of sirens, blinkers and unauthorized motorcycle escorts in the run-up to the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and holiday season.

“We are imposing existing measures against the indiscriminate use of prohibited sirens, bells, horns, whistles, or similar gadgets that produce staggering sounds and as well as motorcycle security escorts when traversing highways and major thoroughfares for personal advantage and easy passage,” Gamboa said in a statement.

This year’s SEA Games will open on November 30 in Bulacan and will close at New Clark City in Tarlac on December 11.

More than 10,000 athletes and their coaches, international media members, volunteers, and spectators are expected to participate and watch the games.

The games will feature 56 sports and 530 events in 44 venues to be conducted in various parts of Luzon.

In his new directive, Gamboa ordered all PNP unit commanders to ensure strict enforcement of the provisions of existing policies against the use of “wang-wang” and motorcycle security coverage.

Under the PNP Memo Circular No. 2017-049, PNP mobile and motorcycle security will be provided only to the President of the Philippines, the Vice President of the Philippines, the Senate President, the Speaker of the House Representatives, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, other authorized government officials and foreign delegates during national events.

The PNP official said only patrol vehicles and motorcycles, SOCO vehicles, SWAT vehicles, rescue vehicles and ambulances of the PNP are allowed to use sirens, blinkers, and similar devices.

However, he clarified that exemptions are granted to fire trucks, ambulances, and other rescue and emergency vehicles.

Gamboa also stressed that PNP motorcycles and mobile cars are only authorized for police patrol purposes, not for weddings, birthdays, funerals and other similar occasions.

He also ordered police commanders to deploy personnel to provide immediate assistance for emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks, caught in traffic along EDSA and other busy streets in the country.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority earlier warned motorists to expect heavier vehicular traffic in the upcoming holiday season.

It also implemented other measures, including the adjustment of mall operating hours, ban on weekday sales, and suspension of road repairs along EDSA and C5 roads to help ease the anticipated traffic gridlock in Metro Manila in December.

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