Motorists, along with clean air advocates and the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, on Monday slammed the Land Transportation Office and Department of Transportation for the “arbitrary” implementation of the private motor vehicle inspection center (PMVIC) system for car registration.
At a news conference in Quezon City, Hilario Pitpit of the Clean Air Movement of the Philippines Inc. backed the call of Senator Grace Poe that thorough and wide-ranging consultations must be conducted involving all stakeholders to discuss the PMVIC system under LTO Memorandum Circular 2018-2158 dated Nov. 28, 2018, requiring motorists to pay P1,800 for a motor vehicle inspection as the directive did not undergo a thorough public consultation.
Worse, he said, the PMVIC system was implemented without the amendment of Republic Act 8749 or the Philippine Clean Air Act.
In Angeles City, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption and hundreds of motorists held a simultaneous noise barrage by blasting their vehicle horns to dramatize their protest against the allegedly exorbitant fees being charged by the Private Motor Vehicles Inspection Center to vehicle owners.
The group also called for a senate inquiry against the LTO and the PMVIC not only on the unreasonably fees but also on the legality of the center to operate without the approval of Congress and the President.
“The Congress has to look into the accuracy of the “flawed” vehicle inspection and its implementation without public consultation and transparency among major stakeholders, and the amendment of the Republic Act 8749 of the Philippine Clean Air Act,” said Arsenio Evangelista, head of the VACC.
Pitpit said, however, that the group was not against the government’s roadworthiness campaign.
Danilo Yumul of the Confederation of Passenger Transport of Central expressed disappointment over the PMVIC implementation at the expense of the car motorists.
“I myself and my son are private motorists, too,” he told the Manila Standard.
The motor vehicle inspection program is a 70-point series of roadworthiness automated tests based on international standards prior to car and motorcycle registration.
“We are planning to file a temporary restraining order to stop the new testing procedures,” Yumul said.
VACC president Arsenio Evangelista believes that “if there is no public consultation, there is corruption.”
“So we are calling all concerned agencies as well as the head of agencies to please have transparency,” he told reporters.
“Let us show our resistance not against roadworthiness, but against compliance prone to possible corruption. We are one in supporting this… to stop PMVIC for all of us. Let us study this first and soon. If the objective is okay and good, we will support it for as long as there is transparency and no corruption. Consultation is needed,” he said.
“At the end of the day, if there is transparency, we can make this compliance a success.”
Evangelista is a known car dealer and enthusiast.
The DoTr through the LTO has pushed through with the PMVIC system and signed its effectivity on Dec. 29, 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PMVIC system gave birth in Angeles City, Pampanga, followed by the other provinces, thus the shutdown of private emission testing centers had begun.
With LTO’s plan to put up only 138 inspection sites across the country, “how can they accommodate 12 million private cars and 15 to 16 million motorcycles and tricycles in the Philippines for inspection?” Pitpit said.
“There would be an average of 800 to 1,000 vehicles for inspection in an urbanized area.”
Under Section 17 of the memorandum circular, a fee will be collected at P1,800 for a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 4,500 kilograms or lower.
The memo also says motorcycle and tricycle owners will have to shell out P600 for the inspection fee.
A reinspection fee of P900 will be charged if a 4,500-kg. vehicle fails the initial inspection, while for tricycles and motorcycles, the reinspection fee is P300.