The Vehicle Inspection Center Operators Association of the Philippines (VICOAP), the largest group with 80 private motor vehicle inspection centers across the country, has expressed its support to the government’s program to increase the standards of roadworthiness.
Private motor vehicle inspection centers (PMVIC) were developed as part of a government initiative that first launched the Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS) in 1983 to ensure the roadworthiness of land-based vehicles, four-wheeled and two-wheeled alike.
There have been calls, however, to suspend the PMVIC operations pending a comprehensive consultation.
But VICOAP President Iñigo Larrazabal said that in contrast to private emission testing centers that focus only on smoke belching, PMVICs check all components of a vehicle based on a more than 60-plus criterion that looks at the quality, functionality, and structural integrity of its various parts.
Brakes, headlights, and wheel alignment, among others are checked and assessed to see if they are still up to speed and can meet current road requirements or if these need to be fixed or replaced immediately.
“We are constantly gathering data across the entire inspection process -- data which can reveal any statistical anomalies that would point to corruption. And because most parts of the process are automated, we know that they cannot be tampered with. In other cases, we can review the data in vulnerable areas to identify any patterns of abuse so we can then act accordingly," Larrazabal said.
The outcome and results are objective and reliable, he said, given that the test result is processed through automation is not subject to human influence.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said that the thoroughness and accuracy of the PMVIC tests deserve continuing public support, and not knee-jerk criticism:
“Pitumpu't tatlo (73) ang nasa checklist ng inspection -- kasama na ang emission test, alignment ng gulong, brake system, ilaw, makina at marami pang iba -- bakit may mga batikos pa din? Bakit 'di natin sabihin, 'Hay, salamat! Mas masisiguro ko ang kaligtasan ko at ng aking mga kaanak at mahal sa buhay,'" Tugade said.
PMVICs come equipped with technology like CCTV cameras and biometrics that record the actual tests being done on the floor. This process reduces any opportunity for corruption such as the no-appearance scheme.
“In the PMVIC test, we check everything. Because we are talking about the safety of lives,” Larrazabal said.
Tugade said the formation of the MVIS and the PMVICs address the issue of roadworthiness squarely.
“We want to prevent the unnecessary loss of lives and property along our roads, dahil ang road crash, hindi namimili ng panahon -- may pandemya man o wala. Hindi ito namimili ng biktima -- mayaman man o mahirap. We can all fall victim to this 'epidemic on wheels.' Kaya po dapat lamang na i-address na natin ito," Tugade said.