In case you missed it, private motor vehicle inspection centers (PMVICs) have come to an agreement with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to lower their inspection fees.
President Rodrigo Duterte has also ordered authorities to make the Motor Vehicle Inspection System “not mandatory,” but it’s yet to be seen what exactly this directive means. Regardless, PMVICs are already predicting “considerable” losses on their end.
Lower testing fees is considerable to PMVICs
In a virtual press conference, Vehicle Inspection Center Operators Association of the Philippines (VICOAP) president Iñigo Larrazabal bared that the impact of lower testing fees will hit PMVICs hard financially.
“Things are still quite new to us, and it’s frankly,a bit of a surprise to us. We will have to go back to our pencil-pushing. It will be considerable. I will not lie. It will definitely be considerable,” Larrazabal said, adding that VICOAP still looks forward to working with both the DOTr and the LTO.
“You know, our mandate goes beyond mere compliance,” he continued. “This is about saving lives. Wouldn’t you want the assurance that your vehicle is safe and does not pose a threat to others? That is what’s important to us.”
Inspection centers expected to operate at a loss
Larrazabal added that despite the lower inspection fees, PMVICs will continue to operate at a loss and stick with the same process and testing procedures put in place prior to today’s agreement with the DOTr and the LTO: “We are a motor vehicle inspection center, and that means we have to completely check your vehicle for roadworthiness. In this case, we’re in a pandemic, but we have lowered our fees. We have to perform our mandate. This is beyond getting paid. We are taking seriously our advocacy of roadworthiness, so we will have to perform this,” he said, appealing to the public to bring their cars in for testing.
Initially, PMVICs could collect P1,500 to P1,800 in inspection fees per vehicle. Effective today, the testing rate for light vehicles, motorcycles, and jeepneys are set at P600, P500, and P300, respectively.
Happy with the new rates? Don’t let your wallet celebrate just yet. According to Larrazabal, VICOAP will continue working with authorities to adjust PMVIC testing rates. The officials said that PMVICs, just like ordinary citizens, are making sacrifices to make things work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We will be, from time to time, checking with the DOTr and the pulse of the masses to see if we can go back to normal. Everybody wants to go back to normal. Tayo po lahat, may mga kanya-kanyang sakripisyo—nabawasan yung sahod, nabawasan yung kita. Isa po kami doon sa apektado. Tayong lahat apektado,” Larrazabal stressed, saying he hopes authorities will take into account the money PMVIC operators put out.
“Siguro naman, pagbibigyan kami sa tamang panahon. Hindi ko po masabi kung gaano katagal iyon. Honestly, hindi naman talaga namin masasabi. Kahit naman sino sa atin, hindi natin alam kung kailan babalik sa normal.”
Will PMVICs gradually be able to increase their testing fees again? Only time will tell. Let us know in the comments if you’re satisfied with the new rates.