Senator Ralph Recto on Wednesday shot down allegations that the Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers are a magic pill that will stop all road mishaps, saying it is “wrong and misleading” to attribute all road accidents to poorly maintained vehicles.
And Senator Grace Poe questioned why the agreements to operate PMVICs do not bar transportation officials or their relatives from operating those centers.
Poe, whose committee on public services recommended the suspension of the operations of PMVICs, said the provision stating that any Department of Transportation officer or their families were not allowed to participate in these contracts was “suspiciously” omitted in the agreements for the PMVICs.
Said Recto: “Accidents are caused by clunkers on the road, but to spin that they are solely to blame is again an overreach/
“A well-tuned car driven by someone with a high IQ who aced the driver’s test can still meet an accident if he sleeps on the wheel or intentionally disregards a traffic light or sign.”
Recto says peddling the PMVICs as the “magic pill” that will make all road accidents go away is in the “realm of fake news.”
“I agree that a robust, fair, affordable, and accessible MVIS with a public option can prevent road mishaps, which the current set-up comes short in guaranteeing.”
Senator Imee Marcos asked Department of Transportation officials what is the “great, compelling reason” for implementing MVIS in the middle of a pandemic.
She described as surprising the move to implement MVIS in December 2020 when there were lesser car crashes and fewer cars plying the roads.
“Didn’t anyone of you think about the possible growing pains, how this would hurt the middle class? They already lost jobs, suffered because of the pandemic and typhoons; many things have happened. Suddenly you decided to raise prices and impose these requirements,” Marcos said.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said there should be a balance between what is safe for the people on the ground in terms of safety of motor vehicles and the price that is affordable to the people, especially the low and middle income families who are already hard up because of the pandemic.
Zubiri said Land Transportation Offices all over the country could be upgraded so that the inspection of motor vehicles could be done there.
“It’s the balance, it’s a delicate balance, and I support the committee on trying to find a way to do it through legislation, through a resolution, solution to funding support to the LTO and the DOTr on how we can improve their services. I am a believer in consensus-building… I tried to look for solutions, rather than focus on the problem always. We are trying to work with government on trying to find a solution for this,” Zubiri said.
Poe has presided over a virtual hearing of the Committee on Public Services which she chaired, over several LTO policies, which she considered seemingly “misplaced” in this time of pandemic.
Poe said the panel is looking into the implementation of a department order authorizing PMVICs, which motorists complained have doubled or even tripled the “inspection fees”; the prioritization of plate making
instead of investing in private sourcing; and the lack of consultation before the policy was rolled out.
Senator Joel Villanueva has sought the suspension of the implementation of the MVIS as transport regulators and private-owned motor vehicle inspection centers failed to demonstrate preparedness to consistently and fairly implement new vehicle registration standards.
He lamented that officials of the Department of Transportation and the Land Transportation Office did not sufficiently consult respective stakeholders.