House Majority Leader, Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez is spearheading a move to have the opening of additional private motor vehicle inspection centers (PMVICs) postponed and reviewed due to practical reasons.
Romualdez made the appeal to transportation authorities in House Resolution (HR) No.1408, which he filed with four other ranking congressmen.
The resolution states that the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has identified 209 new sites to add to the original sites of 138 for PMVICs. The PMVICs are meant to replace the existing emission testing facilities.
Romualdez and fellow authors Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta; Deputy Majority Leader Juan Miguel Arroyo; Assistant Majority Leader Precious Hipolito Castelo; and Welfare of Children Committee chairperson, Tingog Party-List Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez noted that the original sites of 138 have already been approved, with eight of them already gaining an Authorization Certificate to Operate (ACTO). They said 13 sites are still awaiting their ACTO, while six sites are ready for inspection.
The solons said these numbers indicate that the first batch of 138 centers/sites are still not fully and completely operational.
“The addition of more sites will unnecessarily burden the LTO as these will go through the same tedious process that will stretch out the agency’s manpower amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” they pointed out.
The motor vehicle inspection centers, the House leaders said, took two years to comply with LTO requirements and go through the vetting and authorization process.
They also said while the LTO has allowed PMVICs to serve the public, its district offices are still accepting certificates of emission compliance (CECs) issued by private emission testing centers (PETCs).
“The presence of PETCs and the continued acceptance of CECs as a requirement for the registration of motor vehicles create unfair competition to the prejudice of PMVICs authorized by the LTO and those that are still under construction and working towards securing their authority to operate,” they explained.
The authors reckoned that the Department of Transportation (DoTr) and LTO should defer the acceptance of more applicants “until all the initially qualified PMVICs are given authority to operate and until further studies are presented supporting the necessity of having additional centers and its impact on investors.”
In the meantime, they said the LTO should stop accepting emission test certificates from PETCs and “instead require motor vehicle owners to undergo inspection by PMVICs.”
“It must be emphasized that these PMVICs took up the project to help the government in serving the public more efficiently,” they added.