The Department of Transportation has postponed anew the implementation of the mandatory motor vehicle inspection by private centers after it was opposed by various stakeholders.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade ordered the Land Transportation Office to hold in abeyance the implementation of the agency’s memorandum directing all regional offices to adopt the mandatory Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Center (PMVIC) testing within Geographic Areas of Responsibility (GAOR) dated August 4, which was adopted as the subsequent result of Memorandum SC 2021-02 or the Implementation of GAOR for the registration of light vehicles and motorcycles, issued last July 5, 2021.
Tugade also directed the LTO to conduct an immediate and exhaustive review of the policy.
He ordered the LTO to maintain the previous registration process where motorists can choose between a PMVIC and a PETC for the required vehicle inspection.
In the present set up, motor vehicle owners in areas not under the GAOR may still choose to have their vehicles undergo emission testing at a PETC, and roadworthiness inspection at an LTO office.
Ocular roadworthiness inspection for heavy vehicles (gross weight vehicle is equal to 4501 kgs and above) are done by LTO personnel, and emission testing by the PETC, within the same GAOR.
Tugade said he saw the need for a smoother and more efficient manner of implementation of the GAOR policy, while also taking into consideration the current COVID-19 situation which hampers the required vehicle registration process.
In order to keep our roads safe, Tugade said the DOTr needs to have better standards to check the roadworthiness of vehicles. “This is the principal reason why we are continuously advocating the conduct of strict inspection of motor vehicle,” he said.
On the scope of inspection, PMVICs conduct 72-point full roadworthiness test for vehicles, including emission test, unlike in PETCs where only the smoke emission is being tested, and not road worthiness.
In order to not impose additional fee on vehicle owners, the DOTr said it was able to convince PMVIC owners to lower their inspection rate from P1,500 to P600 for light vehicles, and P500 for motorcycles, which are similar to rates collected by a PETC. Reinspection or retest fees were likewise waived, Tugade said.
In the legal opinion of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) dated 18 March 2021, OSG said that the DOTr and LTO have the authority to ensure the roadworthiness of vehicles and consequently implement the motor vehicle inspection system (MVIS).
The Administrative Code of 1987 and E.O. 125-A allows DOTr to call on any corporation or organization, whether public or private, to participate and assist in the implementation of transportation programs.