Amid mounting complaints against private motor vehicle inspection centers (PMVICs), the Land Transportation Office (LTO) maintained that roadworthiness checks on all vehicles in the country must continue in order to ensure the safety of motorists and other road users.
“Para sa amin, yung sistema ng pagchecheck ay hindi dapat itigil kasi ang point dito, kung hindi natin machecheck ang roadworthiness ng sasakyan, maaaring magcause ito ng hindi magandang pangyayari na maraming masaktan o maraming mamatay (The checking system should not stop because the point here is, if we do not check the roadworthiness of the vehicle, it may cause accidents leading to injuries or deaths of motorists),” LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante said in an interview over DZBB on Wednesday, Feb. 10.
According to Galvante, all road vehicles must undergo roadworthiness checks during registration or renewal of papers, noting it is not only the emission that is being tested during the process but also the vehicle’s seatbelts, brakes, and headlights, among others.
Galvante also emphasized that transport regulators have already relaxed the guidelines for motor vehicle registration, which previously restricted vehicle owners from renewing if their units were already 15 years old.
“Dati yung 15 years and older na sasakyan ay hindi na pwedeng i-rehistro. Ngayon, roadworthiness na ang pinagbabasehan. Ibig sabihin, maging luma man o bago ang sasakyan, kung pasado sa roadworthiness check, mairerehistro yan (Before, vehicles 15 years and older could no longer be registered. Now, roadworthiness is the basis. Whether the vehicle is old or new, if it passes the roadworthiness check, it can still be registered),” the official explained.
At the hearing of the Senate Committee on Public Services on Tuesday, Feb. 9, senators called for the suspension of PMVIC operations, noting that the cost of the testing fees is an additional burden to Filipinos who are still reeling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
LTO Memorandum Circular 2018- 2518 allows PMVICs to charge an inspection fee of P1,800 for motor vehicles weighing 4,500 kilograms or less, while a P600 fee is charge for motorcycles and tricycles.
A reinspection fee of P900 will also be collected if the vehicle fails the inspection, while a P300 fee is collected in the case of tricycles and motorcycles.
The Vehicle Inspection Center Operators Association of the Philippines (VICOAP) claimed last week that the fees were reasonable since it covers a comprehensive, 70-point vehicle roadworthiness check.