Despite Duterte’s intervention, Senate inquiry into PMVIC plan must continue – Drilon

Published February 14, 2021, 3:21 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Sunday February 14,  said the Senate should further investigate the operations of Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers (PMVICs) in the light of allegations of irregularities in the implementation of the joint project of the Department of Transportation and the Land Transportation Office.

Senator Franklin Drilon (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

Drilon aired this view notwithstanding the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte not to make PMVIC mandatory for vehicle registration.

Drilon said he hopes that the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, which investigates public accountability into any alleged anomalies in government, will step in to check whether laws were violated to favor certain inspection centers.

“Maraming tanong na walang sagot kaya dapat ipagpatuloy at ibigay sa Blue Ribbon para tingnan kung may violations n gating batas dahil pinaboran ang ilang (There are so many questions left unanswered that’s why it should be given to the Blue Ribbon committee so we can check if laws were violated in favor of some) inspection centers,” Drilon said in an interview over Radio DZBB.

The Senate Committee on Public Services, chaired by Sen. Grace Poe, earlier zeroed in on the decision of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to privatize its vehicle inspection program, describing it as “highly suspicious” as it is prone to corruption.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto pointed out that the 23 PMVICs currently operating stand to earn P8-billion annually but not much money is going into the coffers of the government.

Poe noted that  the government will only be getting P100,000 from the private sector for the license to operate their centers. Because of this, senators recommend that the private motor vehicle inspection system be suspended first.

“That should be suspended. I support calls that says it should be suspended,” Drilon further said in Filipino.

Drilon also said the Land Transportation Office (LTO) should submit to the Senate the official list of PMVIC operators.

“Dapat ilabas. Ito po ay pondo ng taumbayan na ibinabayad sa private sector. Dahilan ang serbisyong ito ay pwedeng gawin ng LTO at ang bayad ay pupunta sa gobyerno (It should be disclosed. They are using public funds to pay the private sector. When in fact, this service should be done by the LTO and the payment should directly go to the government),” the minority leader stressed.

“Kung ang gobyerno ang gumawa nito, kikita ang gobyerno ng P8-billion. Marami pong tanong na dapat sagutin kaya ako ay sang-ayon na ipagpatuloy ang hearing na ito. Kung ang Blue Ribbon itutuloy ito (If the government is in-charge of the inspection, the government will collect P8-billion. There are so many questions that need answers, that’s why I agree that the hearing should continue. I hope the Blue Ribbon will continue this),” he said.