The people have spoken.
Transport stakeholders are all for suspending the No Contact Apprehension Policy (NCAP) implemented by several local government units (LGU) in Metro Manila and Luzon and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
The Land Transportation Office has reiterated its call to suspend the NCAP until all issues, including the infrastructure and implementing guidelines, are ironed out.
The LTO has also formed a Technical Working Group, which will sit down and discuss with LGUs and the MMDA, to tackle issues surrounding the No Contact Apprehension Policy.
In Congress, Quezon City Rep. Marvin Rillo has filed a resolution calling on three House committees to jointly investigate the NCAP implemented by the MMDA.
In House Resolution 237, Rillo cited the need to safeguard the rights and welfare of motorists against potential abuses in the NCAP’s implementation, including the risk that they may be subjected to excessive and unreasonable fines and penalties.
The Supreme Court also earlier granted a petition from four transport groups to suspend the program, which uses video surveillance and digital cameras to capture and penalize traffic violations.
Well-meaning people are trying to talk it out with the LGUs which have been trying to parry off shots from all angles, probably hoping all the noise will just die down and their NCAP will persist to exist sans opposition.
But if all else fails, there’s still the court to turn to.
Just like what a motorist did in dealing with the city of Manila.
Lawyer Juman Paa has filed a petition before the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the NCAP of the City of Manila.
Paa was among thousands of motorists penalized by the city using the NCAP. But he contends the implementation smacks of a lack of due process and also questioned the exorbitant amount of the fine for his alleged traffic violations.
The LGUs, including Valenzuela, Quezon City, San Juan, and Manila have different rates of penalties—which are all above the LTO’s rates—and different websites to check the records of violations.
The lawyer added there is an apparent Violation of Privacy Rights because the NCAP website will readily show the violations committed by motorists just by searching the database using the vehicle plate number.
If the LGUs will not listen to the voice of the people by voluntarily suspending their NCAP until all issues are threshed out, it only shows their insensitivity to address problems.
Again, NCAP should not be treated as a fund-raising platform for LGU coffers. While it will help make sure that people are following road rules, it should not violate an individual’s rights, either.
It’s turning out that NCAP is becoming more of a problem than a solution.
Yes, let’s put a break to this NCAP until it’s safe to put it in place under a unified scheme acceptable to all stakeholders.