Since 1973, civilian and unauthorized use of sirens (wang-wang) and blinkers have been outlawed through Presidential Decree 96. The only allowed vehicles to use such are “motor vehicles designated for official use by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Bureau of Investigation, Land Transportation Commission (now LTO), Police Departments, Fire Departments, and hospital ambulances.”
However, there are a lot of private groups and individuals that think they are above the law and use such devices to force their way out of traffic, checkpoints, and even go as far as counter-flowing against oncoming traffic.
Baguio City has had enough of these lawbreakers.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong directed the Baguio City Police Office to "report or apprehend" persons using sirens, blinkers, and similar gadgets illegally or without authority in the city.
In a memorandum to BCPO Director PCol. Glenn Lonogan dated Nov. 5, 2021, the mayor said the unauthorized use of siren, bell, horn, whistle and similar devices capable of producing loud or startling sounds as well as blinkers, domelights and similar signaling or flashing gadgets is prohibited under Presidential Decree No. 96 series of 1973.
“The use of said devices is allowed for official vehicles but in contemplation of emergency situations only. Henceforth, you are directed to cascade to all units to immediately report or apprehend persons who are using the same without authority or in contravention with the law," the mayor stressed in his memorandum.”
PD 96 vs muffler and LED lights
Though PD 96 says that “similar devices capable of producing loud or startling sounds as well as blinkers, domelights and similar signaling or flashing gadgets” are prohibited, it is not to be confused with the regulation of exhaust noises and use of LED lights, particularly in motorcycles.
According to the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the use of auxiliary lights such as LEDs are allowed provided that they conform with the guidelines set by the agency. The guidelines include auxiliary LED lights should have separate wiring and a separate switch from the main headlight and that Only two (2) auxiliary LED lights are permitted.
For the complete list, read our past story here: LTO releases simplified guidelines on auxiliary LED lights.
Mufflers or exhaust pipes, on the other hand, also has its own set of rules that govern them. According to the latest LTO Motor Vehicle Inspection System, a motorcycle’s exhaust noise should not exceed 99 decibels.
To know how much noise it generates, authorities must use a decibel meter at a prescribed procedure and distance.