DAGUPAN CITY -- “President Aquino has already spoken. Pantay-pantay na ang implementasyon nitong batas sa illegal use of siren sa mga motor vehicles. Masaya kami at maipapatupad na natin yong batas without any fear of reprisal.”

Land Transportation Office (LTO)-Dagupan head Patricio Urmaza issued this statement in reaction to the warning issued by Aquino during his inauguration address concerning the illegal use of motor vehicle sirens.

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“The problem of our law enforcers before was they get into hot water when they flag down influential people. They are relieved from their post, transferred to other places. Now, there is already that power that emanated from the president himself,” Urmaza remarked.

He said all LTO-deputized personnel doing traffic function from the Philippine National Police (PNP) or traffic enforcers from the Public Order and Safety Office (POSO) of the different local government units are also authorized to implement law.

“There is already an instruction to the PNP personnel to strictly monitor and apprehend violators. These LTO-deputized personnel do a lot of help to our office. Without them, hindi namin kakayanin ang trabaho sa kalsada,” he said.

“Nakikiusap ako sa mga motor vehicle owners na meron pa ring mga nakakabit ng gadget na pakitanggal na para maisawan ang kahihiyan kapag nahuli sila; to avoid also the payment of the P15,000 fine and the confiscation of the gadget,” he appealed to the motorists.

Presidential Decree No. 96, “declaring the use or attachment of sirens, bells, horns, whistles or similar gadgets that emit exceptionally lour or startling or flashing devices on motor vehicles and providing certain exceptions.”

Then President Ferdinand Marcos signed it on January 13, 1973.

It was stated thereat that “much of the chaotic conditions from which our people have suffered and still continue to suffer are the direct result of indiscriminate and unregulated use of sirens, bells, horns, whistles and similar gadgets that emit exceptionally loud or startling sounds, including domelights and other similar signaling or flashing devices attached to motor vehicles and used on the highways.

The decree added that unregulated use of sirens, bells, horns, whistles or similar gadgets that emit exceptionally loud or startling sounds, including domelights and similar signaling or flashing devices actually impede and confuse traffic, are inconsistent with sound traffic discipline and control on the highways, and in effect constitute a major problem in the maintenance of peace and order”.

LTO-Dagupan covers seven towns and Dagupan City in Central Pangasinan.

On LTO's main concern – road safety, he likewise appealed to motorcycle drivers/riders to make it a habit to wear helmet.

“Better be safe than be sorry later,” he said. (Liway C. Manantan-Yparraguirre)