Vintage Vehicle Act backed

Published January 22, 2021, 5:44 PM

by Ben Rosario

Right-hand drive vehicles may soon return to roads in urban areas but only during the so-called vintage vehicle holidays or weekends.

Under a bill that has gained strong support from the House Committee on Transportation, vehicles that have been kept in the garages of vintage car collectors will give city streets a touch of olden times when classic vehicles were king of the road. 

in a committee hearing presided over by Samar Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento, officials of government transport regulator agencies threw their all-out support to the passage of House Bill 8244 filed by Reps. Enrico Pineda (1Pacman partylist); Faustino Dy III (NPC, Isabela); Weslie Gatchalian (NPC, Valenzuela City), and Paul Daza (NUP, Northern Samar).

HB 8244 or the Vintage Vehicle Act seeks o protect and promote the country’s cultural and historical assets by regulating the use and registration of vintage automobiles and other historical, classic, or collector motor vehicles.

The House panel immediately approved the bill in principle as it assigned a technical working group headed by Pineda to further include proposals that would improve the bill.

“These vehicles, which are also considered as economic assets, should be considered as part and parcel of our history and heritage.  They have not only passed the test of time but also serve as testimonial to the ingenuity, artistry, and skills of their mechanics and engineers as well as dedication and passion of their owners,” authors of the bill explained in its explanatory notes.

Pineda, a collector, said Filipino mechanics, technicians, and bodyworks specialists rank among the most skilled in the world.

By passing the bill, the vintage car collectors and enthusiasts will be provided with an environment that would improve a reintroduced industry in the country, said Pineda.

“We have good craftsmen here who have nothing to do because is limited. Passing the bill will help the economy because foreign cars will be allowed to be done here,” said lawyer Andy Sta. Maria of the Manila Sports Car Club.

Under the bill,  Vintage vehicles will be granted exemption from regulations on clean air, pollution, safety, road use, and other standards that were not in force at the time of manufacture. However, vehicles manufactured after Dec.  31, 1967 must still be fitted with safety belts as provided under current law.

 The bill also authorizes importation of vintage vehicles although these exportation will be barred within three years following their entry to the country.  Resale within the same period will also be disallowed.

Vintage vehicles will be fitted with plate describing them as “vintage.”

The bill proposes the creation of the Vintage Vehicle Registration and Assessment Office (VVRAO), an office under the LTO, that shall oversee the administration and implementation of this proposal.

Under the bill, vehicles that can be registered and benefit from the law should be 30 years old from the date of manufacture. Their chassis, engine, steering, and suspension should be original or authentic.

Vintage vehicles may be allowed on the road but on limited period, specifically during weekends only.  Owners are barred from using them for commercial purposes except for motion pictures, advertisements, pictorials, weddings, and motorcades.