Owners of motor vehicle inspection centers (MVICs) have agreed to lower its inspection fees and suspend the collection of re-inspection fees from motorists for at least a year, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) announced on Thursday, Feb. 11.
In a virtual press briefing, DoTr Assistant Secretary Giovanni Z. Lopez said Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade has convinced MVIC owners to reduce their rates similar to the fees being charged by private emission testing centers (PETCs).
“Ibig sabihin niyan, ibababa na lamang sa P600 ang fee sa pag-inspect ng mga pribadong sasakyan, P500 naman ang inspection fee para sa mga motorsiklo, at P300 para sa mga jeepneys (This means that the inspection fee for private vehicles will be reduced to P600, P500 for motorcycles, and P300 for jeepneys),” Lopez told reporters.
He also mentioned that MVICs will not be charging re-inspection fees to any vehicles for at least one year.
Under Memorandum Circular 2018- 2518, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) allowed MVICs to charge an inspection fee of P1,800 for motor vehicles weighing 4,500 kilograms or less, and a P900 re-inspection fee should it fail the initial series of tests. But the commitment of the MVICs to traffic authorities mean they will bear the huge price reduction.
For his part, Vehicle Inspection Center Operators Association of the Philippines (VICOAP) President Iñigo Larrazabal said the group has agreed to “operate at a loss” in order to lower the fees at a “pandemic price.”
“We acknowledge that MVICs are not mandated for vehicle registration. However, our work in PMVICs goes beyond compliance and regulation. This is about saving lives,” Larrazabal said during the same briefing.
“No one can mandate us to save other people’s lives; this is our moral obligation to make sure that our vehicles are safe not just for our families, but that we don’t pose a threat to others on the road,” he added.
Despite the decrease in inspection rates, Lopez and Larrazabal noted that MVICs will still cover a 73-point roadworthiness check for all vehicles. This is more comprehensive than the smoke emission test conducted by PETCs.
“Kailangang i-balanse ang pangangailangan ng bawat sector lalo na sa usapin ng road safety kung saan buhay ang nakasasalay, gayundin ang kapakanan ng taumbayan higit pa ngayon na may COVID-19 (We need to balance the needs of each sector especially on the matter of road safety since there are lives involved, plus the welfare of the public especially now with COVID-19),” Lopez said.
Tugade appealed to the vehicle inspectors earlier Thursday to slash their rates amid complaints that their fees were exorbitant.