“We will comply.” This was the message both the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) conveyed to the public after being asked about President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent order to make the Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS) “not mandatory.”
As mentioned in our previous story, the order was relayed by Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque during a briefing today, February 11. “[Hindi] na po mandatory ang MVIS,” Roque said. “Ibig sabihin, kinakailangan wala pong bagong karagdagang singil sa pagpaparehistro ng sasakyan.”
LTO, DOTr caught off-guard
Perhaps caught off-guard by the announcement as it came right before a scheduled press conference regarding private motor vehicle inspection centers (PMVICs), neither the LTO nor the DOTr could give a clear explanation as to what the President meant by “not mandatory.” You may recall that under the new MVIS, vehicle roadworthiness inspection prior to LTO registration is to be conducted at PMVICs. In the old system, only an emissions testing certificate from private emission testing centers (PETCs) was required.
Both the LTO and DOTr, however, said they will comply with the order. “Ang pinag-uutos po ng nakakataas sa atin, nagbigay ng panuntunan, nagbigay ng instruction, iyon po ay ating susunduin,” LTO chief Edgar Galvante said.
“Iyon po ang aming ipatutupad. Bibigyan po nating ng kaukulang directive or payo ang mga LTO offices na nagsasagawa ng registration or inspection para makatupad dito sa utos ng ating mahal na pangulo.”
DOTr assistant secretary Giovanni Lopez echoed Galvante’s sentiment, saying the agency would surely comply with the President’s directive: “The president has already spoken, and we ensure everyone that we are going to comply. Makikipag-ugnayan po kami sa LTO to make sure din po na itong kautusan ng ating mahal na pangulo ay maipapatupad.”
PMVICs to lower inspection fees
The Vehicle Inspection Center Operators Association of the Philippines (VICOAP), which is made up of PMVIC owners, has already agreed to lower its inspection fees. Effective immediately, PMVICs will charge light vehicles only P600 for roadworthiness inspection—the same rate charged by PETCs. Prior to this, PMVICs were charging P1,500 to P1,800 per light vehicle. Motorcycles and jeepneys, meanwhile, will be charged P500 and P300, respectively. A re-inspection fee for vehicles that fail the test will not be imposed within one year of the initial inspection.
According to VICOAP president Iñigo Larrazabal, the move to adjust PMVIC testing fees is all about safety. “Working closely with Congress and the DOTr, we have as a group agreed to operate at a loss and lower our fees,” he said during the press conference.
“We acknowledge that MVICs are not mandated for vehicle registration. However, our work as PMVICs goes beyond compliance and regulation. This is about saving lives,” he explained, adding that it was VICOAP’s moral obligation to ensure vehicles don’t pose a threat to those on the road.
This is a developing story. Stay tuned to our website for more updates.