The new head of the Land Transportation Office has written to local government units (LGUs) to ask that they suspend their implementation of the no contact apprehension programs (NCAP) until certain issues have been addressed.
“Sumulat na po tayo sa kanila at pinapakiusapan natin sila na hanggang hindi pa naitatama yung mga rules na puna natin ay hindi patas, ay baka pwedeng i-suspend muna yung implementation nito,” said Teofilo ‘Jojo’ Guadiz III, assistant secretary and new chief of the LTO, during an August 8 interview on One Balita Pilipinas.
“Kapapadala ko lang po ng sulat nung Friday (August 5), and I am giving them three days na sumagot po sa ating sulat. Kung wala po, tatawagan ko nalang po sila.”
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One of the issues raised by Guadiz is that operators of public utility vehicles are the ones shouldering NCAP fines instead of the drivers who actually committed the traffic violation.
“Normally, ang nagbabayad po niyan ay yung registered owner ng sasakyan on the presumption po na yung rehistradong may-ari ng sasakyan ang nagmamaneho,” he explained.
The official, however, conceded that this policy could be unfair to operators: “Bakit yung operator lagi ang pinagmumulta? Kung minsan kasi iba yung operator, iba po yung driver. So we will look into ways na dapat ang managot sana, yung driver.
“And there are instances po na yung sasakyan ay nalipat na sa ibang pangalan,” he continued. “Dahil lang ho hindi ito nailagda sa LTO, ang sinisingil po nila ay yung dating may-ari ng sasakyan. These are some of the things that I would like to revisit.”
Another issue he brought up was the faulty or disabled countdown timers at some intersections where no-contact apprehension is being implemented. Last week, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority explained that some countdown timers have been disabled to make way for a new adaptive traffic light system. An agency official explains the advantages and disadvantages here.
Guadiz stressed the LTO only functions as a “repository” of NCAP violations, and that the fines paid by violators go straight to the LGUs concerned. However, he wants to sit down with LGUs and discuss how they can address the complaints of the motoring public.
“Ang LGUs po ang gumawa nito at kami lang po ang nagpapatupad,” he dsif. “Pero this time, gusto naming umupo at pag-usapan at talakayin sa kanila itong pagpapatupad dahil may objections dito. And being the traffic enforcer of the government, gusto po sana naming ituwid, iwasto, at iayos itong mga traffic rules.
“I’m giving myself at least five days para upuan ho ito with the local government unit concerned para iayos, dahil ang partisipasyon lang naman ng LTO dito, kami lang po ang taga-encode sa driver’s license nung violator.
Should the LGUs not respond to his initial request to suspend NCAP, Guadiz said bringing the Department of Local and the Interior Government into the discussion could be the next step: “Siguro we will look into meeting with the DILG secretary [Benhur Abalos], who has supervision over the local government units…andwe will probably recommend to them a review and, pending review, to temporarily suspend [the NCAP implementation].”