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        10 Issues raised by transport groups vs. no-contact apprehension policy

        They are hell-bent on stopping its implementation
        by Aris Ilagan Oct 20, 2021
        PHOTO: Shutterstock

        Pagod na pagod na kami.”

        We heard this line from the leaders of different transport groups not only once or twice but several times during a press conference on Wednesday morning. It was all about their collective exasperation over issues about the public transportation system, which has gone from worse to worst amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

        Continue reading below ↓

        Called the Stop NCAP Coalition, the group consists of transport leaders, truck operators, and drivers who are condemning the government’s response to the series of fuel price hikes, and the mounting complaints against the private motor vehicle inspection centers (PMVIC). On top of its list, though, is the no-contact apprehension policy (NCAP) that is now being implemented in several areas of Metro Manila.

        Continue reading below ↓
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        Basically, the NCAP uses CCTV cameras to take videos of erring motorists in Manila, Paranaque, Valenzuela, Quezon City, and soon, Taguig and Muntinlupa.

        Ang NCAP po ay isang pahirap sa amin. Paano na lang po kung ang bawat siyudad ay maglagay ng mga ganyan po?” asks Angel Padua of Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO) Nationwide.

        Transport leaders then took turns in criticizing the NCAP. We were able to identify their most pressing issues about it:

        1) No public consultation

        According to the coalition, the ordinance was approved by local government officials without holding public consultations with transport organizations and other stakeholders.

        Continue reading below ↓

        2) Operators, not drivers will be penalized

        Since it was the driver who committed the traffic violation, they should be the one to pay the penalty, not the public utility vehicle (PUV) operator or vehicle owner.

        3) Exorbitant penalties

        The local government units (LGU) that implement the NCAP impose steep penalties to traffic offenders: P1,000 (first offense); P3,000 (2nd); and P5,000 (3rd).

        4) Penalty interest

        If not settled immediately by the driver, a notice of traffic violation is sent to the PUV operator or vehicle owner three to four months later. By the time it gets to them, a 5% monthly interest is already added to the penalty.

        5) No payment, no registration

        Owners of a vehicle with unsettled violations will not be allowed by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to renew their registration.

        6) Bad timing

        Just like the fuel price hikes and mandatory roadworthiness tests, the implementation of the NCAP comes at an inopportune time, when the public is still struggling from the effects of the pandemic.

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        7) Transport shortage risk

        Transport leaders fear that the NCAP might lead to a shortage of PUVs, with drivers penalized for traffic violations refusing to ply their route anymore.

        8) Exemptions?

        If an erring driver caught on video is owned by a business entity or transport cooperative, is it fair to slap them with such a huge fine?

        9) Who will profit?

        Penalty payments will be collected by the LGUs and not to the LTO—an arrangement that left the members of the coalition scratching their heads.

        10) Legit?

        Nowhere in Republic Act No. 4163, otherwise known as the Land Transportation and Traffic Code was the NCAP mentioned, so the transport leaders are doubting the legitimacy of this controversial policy.

        What’s your take?

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        PHOTO: Shutterstock

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