The Land Transportation Office has made it clear that it is not in the business of arbitrarily and subjectively apprehending owners of modified vehicles.
The LTO, however, said it must enforce the law on modified vehicles.
Modification of a motor vehicle was defined by Department Order No. 2010-32 dated September 8, 2010 with subject: Harmonization of Motor Vehicle (MV) Classifications of LTO and LTFRB.
The order is aligned with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN-ECE), the standard followed by other ASEAN countries, it said.
Section 5, Number 5.2 of the Order states: “The modifications involving safety and environment shall not be allowed, such as the following: Axle modification; Chassis modification; Extended chassis/body; Additional siding of dump trucks; Extended overhang; Change of rim size; Modification of handle bar and muffler; and Reconfiguration of body dimension and design.”
Modification, or physical change in the existing motor vehicle design, is allowed provided a Certificate of Road Safety from the manufacturer can be presented by the owner, to prove that the modification will not compromise, in any way, safety. The same is also subject to inspection by the LTO for possible reclassification.
Tampering with the engine performance, drivetrain, suspension, wheels, and brakes of a vehicle, which are outside the approved parameters or its basic components, may affect its performance and may compromise safety.
On the other hand, enhancements to features and performance such as interior and exterior trimmings are allowed, for as long as the existing design of the vehicle is not compromised.
The Department of Trade and Industry likewise came up with Philippine National Standards to cover locally rebuilt vehicles such as jeepneys.
The assumption that the LTO is focusing its resources on apprehending owners of modified vehicles is not fair, LTO said in a statement, The Law Enforcement Unit of the LTO is out there on the road every day, apprehending all types of violators.
As a matter of fact, only one modified vehicle has been impounded in the most recent operation held in NLEX, and the reason for it is because the vehicle is not currently registered.
The DOTr-LTO appreciates the ongoing discussion on this matter, most prominently on social media. In the spirit of transparency and good governance, our doors are open for a dialogue where recommendations and suggestions may be presented and discussed, putting on topmost priority the safety and welfare of the public.
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