By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz

TRAFFIC WOES. Southbound motorists endure bumper-to-bumper traffic along EDSA approaching the intersection of Bonny Serrano Avenue in Quezon City on March 18, 2024. The public is encouraged to report government vehicles that use “wang-wang” or sirens and blinkers through the Land Transportation Office’s Aksyon on the Spot SMS hotline. (PNA photo by Ben Briones)

MANILA – The public is encouraged to report government vehicles that use “wang-wang” or sirens and blinkers through the Land Transportation Office’s (LTO) Aksyon on the Spot SMS hotline.

LTO chief, Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza II, said sirens and blinkers in motor vehicles, including those of government officials and private individuals, are illegal unlike those used by emergency vehicles of law enforcement and emergency response agencies.

Such violations can be reported through the newly launched hotline by sending an SMS to 0929-292-0865.

“Lalo pa po natin itong pinamadali nang maglabas ng kautusan ang ating Pangulo Bongbong Marcos na laban sa iligal na paggamit ng sirens and blinkers para magkaroon ng reliable na platform ang ating mga kababayan sa kanilang mga reklamo (We have made it easier for the public to submit reports or complaints after President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. issued an order against the illegal use of sirens and blinkers so the people would have a reliable platform for their complaints),” Mendoza said.

Marcos earlier signed Administrative Order 18 prohibiting government officials and personnel from using sirens, blinkers, and similar gadgets that produce exceptionally loud or startling sounds, including dome lights and signaling or flashing devices.

“Unauthorized and improper use of signaling or flashing devices by government officials and employees shall be dealt with in accordance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations,” the order read.

Blinkers and sirens are used only in “clearly appropriate circumstances” and only by motor vehicles for official use by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police, fire trucks, hospital ambulances, and other emergency vehicles.

On Monday, the LTO launched the hotline and encouraged motorists to report online scammers impersonating the LTO and other government agencies through fake traffic violation notifications.

He said a sticker with the hotline’s number and QR code will be distributed to those renewing their vehicle registration to help inform the public of the new service. (PNA)