Taking a vehicle from one island to another may soon require some paperwork as two solons are pushing for motorists to secure a clearance from the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG).
Based on House Bill 4500 filed by Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of the second district of Cagayan de Oro City and Rep. Maximo Rodriguez Jr. of party list Abante Mindanao, securing a clearance from the PNP-HPG will deter car thieves from transporting stolen vehicles by land or on board sea vessels to evade arrest and detection.
Citing statistics from the PNP-HPG, Rodriguez said at least 300 cars stolen in Luzon were recovered in Mindanao as of 2005. He added that there is a huge market for stolen vehicles in the Visayas and in other parts of the country.
"This is an example of the new modus operandi of these carnapping syndicates. All of the stolen vehicles from Metro Manila are transported to different provinces all over the country to prevent detection," Rodriguez added. "The transport of these carnapped vehicles is made easier because of the promotion of the Philippine Nautical Highway under then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo."
Under the bill, the PNP-HPG should establish an express desk in police offices all over the country to facilitate the issuance of the required clearance within 24 hours from the time of request. The clearance is also free of charge after the PNP-HPG has confirmed that the person planning to transport the vehicle is the vehicle's owner and that the vehicle has not been reported as stolen.
Likewise, the PNP should have a computerized list of all reported stolen vehicles all over the Philippines, which shall be updated in real-time once a report of carjacking is received.
If passed into law, a violator caught transporting a vehicle without the necessary clearance will be penalized with a fine of P500,000 or imprisonment of two years.