Department of Transportation (DOTr) secretary Arthur Tugade has instructed the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to suspend the implementation of mandatory testing by private motor vehicle inspection centers (PMVIC).
Tugade issued the directive a day after he came under fire from the Senate committee on public services led by senator Grace Poe, who questioned the DOTr’s basis for implementing the LTO Memorandum Circular SC-2021-02. This is in relation to the establishment of Geographical Areas of Responsibility (GOAR), which signaled the start of mandatory PMVIC testing on light vehicles and motorcycles earlier this month.
In a press statement, the transport chief ordered the LTO “to maintain the previous registration process where motorists can choose between a PMVIC and a PETC (private emission testing center) for the required vehicle inspection.” He also asked the agency to immediately conduct an exhaustive review of the policy.
In her privilege speech yesterday, Poe denounced the implementation of mandatory PMVIC inspection at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Owners of light vehicles and motorcycles were forced to avail the services of the testing facilities while leaving themselves more prone to virus infection.
“Sa panahon ng pandemya kung kailangan bawat piso ay mahalaga, isang krimen ang pamemera gamit ang polisiya na hitik sa problema,” she explained.
Among those who echoed Poe’s sentiment against mandatory PMVIC testing was senator Bong Go, who vowed to bring this pressing issue to President Rodrigo Duterte.
Meanwhile, Tugade considers the controversies hounding the PMVIC policy as “birth pains” in their effort to promote road safety in the country. “Though roadworthiness is not the cure-all for road crashes, it is one of the pillars of road safety. Thus, we remain firm in our commitment to address the roadworthiness requisite prior to renewal of vehicle registration,” he emphasized.
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