The Senate public services committee on Tuesday had sought to repeal a Department of Transportation order and related issuances which privatizes the motor vehicle inspection system.
The panel is led by Senator Grace Poe—with Senators Bong Revilla, Panfilo Lacson, Manny Pacquiao, and Sherwin Gatchalian as vice chairpersons—said the Private MVIS (PMVIS) is “extraordinarily flawed and its implementation must be halted at once.”
“The repeal of DOTr Department Order 2018-19 (“An Order Privatizing the Motor Vehicle Inspection System Through Authorization”) and all related issuances is recommended,” the report read.
Under the Land Transportation Office (LTO)’s Memorandum Circular 2018-2158, private inspection centers must collect P1,800 for motor vehicles 4,500 kilograms or lighter. If a vehicle fails the inspection, it must undergo repairs and get retested for P900.
The senators alleged that the PMVIS Authorization Committee disregarded legal and documentary requirements to accommodate certain private motor vehicle inspection centers (PMVICs).
They also alleged that the PMVIS was “railroaded” due to the failure to hold consultations with stakeholders.
The report also said that the PMVIS “suffers from numerous logistical concerns,” including the limited number of operational PMVICs and the incompatibility of their IT systems, machineries, and equipment with those of the LTO.
“These issues make it unacceptable for the public to accept a new system which shifted a considerable economic burden when it imposed a testing fee that is more than triple its previous cost, in addition to other mandatory payments,” it read.
The panel added that the DOTr’s rationale to privatize the MVIS is “unacceptable.”
“Not only did the DOTr have access to sufficient funding to finance a national MVIS that can cater to motorists for free, it was also not precluded from tapping other government agencies that have sufficient resources to undertake this endeavor,” it said.
The committee instead said the implementation of the program must be halted until the resolutions hounding it have been resolved, despite the lowering of fees by PMVIC operators.
“Ultimately, the payment of fees for a public service contentiously delegated to a private concessionaire without public bidding must never be discretionary,” the report read.
The panel also urged the Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations to probe the transactions linked to the accreditation of PMVICs as well as the officials involved.
“The questionable issuances seem to have created a very favorable environment for an oligopoly where only very few players can enter and succeed,” it said.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier stopped the implementation of the PMVIS, citing its financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the public.
Private individuals, however, will still need to submit a certificate from emission centers of PMVICs to register their vehicles.