Senators laud Duterte’s suspension of car inspection system, child car seat law

Published February 11, 2021, 8:47 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senators have welcomed President Duterte’s decision on Thursday, February 11,  to defer the implementation of the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) motor vehicles inspection system (MVIS) and the law mandating private vehicles to have child restraint system for children passengers.

Senate of the Philippines

“We…welcome the decision of the President to join the Senate Committee on Public Services in its call to immediately suspend the flawed system,” Senator Grace Poe said following Malacañang’s announcement.

Poe chairs the Senate panel that grilled officials on the issue on MVIS during a public hearing on Tuesday. Senators recommended that the operations of private motor vehicle inspection centers (PMVICs) be suspended.

Among others, they said that no law authorizes the DOTr and its attached agency, the Land Transportation Office (LTO), to delegate its mandate of ensuring the road-worthiness of motor vehicles. They also slammed the agencies for allegedly setting the inspection fees arbitrarily.

“A temporary suspension of fees only begs the question: Why do motorists need to shoulder the burden of the new system?” she raised.

“While the intent of making all vehicles roadworthy is good, it must be done properly according to procedure and with more reasonable parameters. We all want safer roads but not at the expense of burdening the motoring public,” Poe pointed out.

Senator Joel Villanueva also said many Filipinos will be delighted by Duterte’s order to suspend the full implementation of the Child Safety n Motor Vehicles Act (Republic Act No. 11229). 

“Mabuti at sinita ng Pangulo.  Siya naman talaga ang ating  traffic enforcer-in-chief (It’s good that the President called this out. Besides, he really is our traffic enforcer-in-chief),” Villanueva said in a separate statement.

Authorities, he said, should “take advantage” of the suspension “to perfect their implementation, to remove whatever unnecessary  burden they impose on the people, while ensuring that the objectives of road and child safety will still  be met.”

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, meanwhile, thanked Duterte for suspending the controversial policies, adding that it should teach the implementing agencies not to roll out policies in haste.

“The lesson here is that before you ram through a rule that will force the people to pay, be sure to run it by the President first,” he said.

“Hindi pwede ang (You cannot do a) fast and furious way of implementing new regulations. Never pull a fast one. If you are in the executive branch, remember that you as a spring cannot rise above the source, which in this case is the office by the Pasig River,” he said referring to Malacañang Palace, Duterte’s office.