Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers is calling for an investigation into the No Contact Apprehension Policy (NCAP) even with the Land Transportation Office’s recent decision to temporarily suspend it.
In his privilege speech last Tuesday, Barbers pushed for the NCAP’s immediate suspension following complaints from motorists regarding its implementation, and its confusing and problematic nature.
“The mounting complaints against NCAP’s implementation necessitate the review of all contracts and MOAs (Memorandum of Agreements) to determine its constitutionality,” Barbers stressed.
“This early, we need to suspend NCAP implementation and correct its flaws and loopholes. So there would be no or less complaints from motorists in the days to come,” he added.
A few hours after Barbers’ speech, LTO chief Teofilo Guadiz III issued a memo ordering the temporary deactivation of the local government units (LGUs) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA)’s capability to implement the NCAP.
The order came amid complaints by several public utility vehicle operators who claimed they are the ones being charged for the violations committed by their drivers.
Reports, however, from the LTO revealed a text message sent the same day, supposedly by Guadiz himself, allegedly recalling the memo, thereby reactivating those deactivated LGU accounts.
“We are confused as to whether the original order to temporary halt NCAP still stands,” said an LTO official, who requested anonymity in the reports.
Also according to the reports, Guadiz did not respond to calls asking for confirmation on the sudden reversal via text message, which reportedly led to confusion among LTO officials.
The camp of Barbers also insisted they haven’t received any updated communication or memo ordering the NCAP’s reactivation.
“The NCAP system is laudable since the intent is to discipline erring, abusive or wayward drivers. But the implementers, I was told, are imposing excessive fines and could be violating the Constitution since there is no due process of law,” Barbers explained during his speech.
“And there is no law, ordinance or regulation prohibiting vehicle registration due to non-payment of fines for traffic violations,” he continued.
Meanwhile, MMDA traffic enforcers — who are responsible for NCAP’s implementation — are tracking traffic violators via state-of-the-art digital cameras and CCTVs located along major thoroughfares.
NCAP confusion stems from the fact that every LGU has different guidelines on the policy’s implementation.
Meanwhile, the LTO is now under the process of bidding for new CL1 laser engravers under IT provider Dermalog to repair and maintain the old ones, which is critical in printing the information on the driver’s license.
“We are waiting for their action to repair some of our laser engravers. It’s one of the reasons why the printing of the driver’s license is slow,” the LTO source said. “It’s already awarded to Dermalog since they are the exclusive distributor of the laser.”
The LTO has approved a total of P14,027,319.85 budget for CL1 laser engraver under manufacturer IXLA.