LTO, Customs to strictly enforce EO 156 ban on 'surplus cars'

Imported used car

It's official: The Land Transportation Office has announced that it will uphold "the constitutionality and legality of Executive Order 156" and go after used vehicles that were imported illegally into the Philippines.

"We would like to warn the general public and those who still entertain the thought of buying cheap and readily available surplus drop such a silly idea or suffer the consequences of being inconvenienced in the difficulty of the renewal of its registration in the future," the LTO said in a statement. "All motor vehicles registered in violation of EO 156 can never be renewed again. If ever renewed, such registration is considered illegal and any LTO official found to have registered vehicles in violation of EO 156 can be held criminally and administratively liable for his illegal acts."

Executive Order 877, which incidentally was also signed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (who signed EO 156 in 2002), states that used vehicles may still be brought into the country but these cannot go outside the "secured, fenced-in freeport zones."

"We will uphold the recent Supreme Court ruling and enforce all the provisions of EO 156 regarding restrictions on the importation of used cars," added Bureau of Customs commissioner Ruffy Biazon. "I advise car buyers to be sure of the vehicles they are buying and to get them only at legitimate sources and dealers."

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