President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered transport officials not to make the Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS) mandatory, Malacañang said Thursday.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque also confirmed that Duterte has ordered the deferment of the implementation of Republic Act 11229 or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act.
Duterte arrived at this decision to “balance” the needs of the public amid the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
“The MVIS will no longer be mandatory. Meaning, there will be no additional fees in registering your cars,” Roque said in Filipino in a Palace press briefing.
A Senate committee earlier recommended the temporary suspension of the operations of Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers (PMVICs) amid questions of law and complaints from motorists.
Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services, expressed concern that the lack of transparency in the selection of the PMVICs “might provide an avenue for corruption.”
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto also questioned the legal basis of privatizing the vehicle inspection program.
Under the new MVICs, vehicles to be registered must pass a stringent 73-point inspection system to be conducted in three stages with the use of state-of-the-art equipment that sends, automatically and in real-time, the results to the Land Transportation Office’s IT (information technology) system.
In the old LTO system, the roadworthiness test was done through visual and manual inspection.
While the old MVICs rely on manual visual inspection, vehicles to be registered now with the LTO will be tested using minimal human intervention since these are automated.
Roque agreed with the statement made by Deputy Speaker Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez that a bill should be passed to suspend the law’s implementation.
“His [Duterte’s] decision not to implement will be the basis to amend the law,” he said.
The full implementation of RA 11229 was supposed to take effect on Feb. 2 but was deferred due to the current economic situation in the country amid COVID-19 pandemic.
RA 11229 mandates the use of child restraint systems (CRS) among children 12 years old and below with a height of 4 feet 11 inches and below.
The CRS must comply with standards set by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as specified in DTI Department Administrative Order No. 20-03, and other international standards including those under the United Nations Regulations 44 and 149.
Those who use expired or non-compliant child car seats will face a fine of P1,000 for the first offense, P3,000 for the second offense, and P5,000 for the third offense.
Manufacturers or sellers of non-compliant child car seats and those who fake compliance stickers will have to pay a fine of P50,000 to P100,000.
Rodriguez welcomed Duterte’s order not to make the MVIS mandatory for motor vehicle registration by the Land Transportation Office.
He has filed a resolution calling for suspension of the MVIS requirement following numerous reports of inconsistencies and anomalies regarding the private inspection centers.
Senator Joel Villanueva said Congress should take advantage of “the pause ordered by the President’ to remove any unnecessary burdens the law would impose on the people, while ensuring that the objectives of road and child safety are met.
Meanwhile, the Vehicle Inspection Center Operators Association of the Philippines on Thursday agreed to lower the fees collected from private motorists for the inspection of their vehicles prior to registration with the LTO, and to suspend their collection of fees for re-inspection for at least one year.
“In the same way that we responded to the first call of the government about roadworthiness and made the investment without hesitation, we continue to believe that this is a good and worthy program. Working closely with Congress, the DOTr, and the Land Transportation Office (LTO), we have as a group agreed to lower our fees during this pandemic,” VICOAP President Iñigo Larrazabal said in a virtual briefing.
Larrazabal said the new fees for light vehicles will be P600, for motorcycles P500 and P300 for jeepneys.
PMVICs previously were allowed to collect P1800 for each vehicle that will undergo testing and another P900 should the vehicle fail the initial series of tests and will have to be re-tested.
Despite the lower fees, Larrazabal said PMVICs will still check 73 inspection points of their vehicles to ensure roadworthiness.
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