Panelo tells LTO officials to ‘shape up or ship out’

Published February 14, 2021, 4:01 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The government’s transport officials should “better shape up or ship out” following the controversy generated by the motor vehicle inspection system, according to Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.


Panelo reminded the Land Transportation office (LTO) to avoid being “pasaway”, and conduct further study on policies that affect the people before implementing them.  

“Puwede ba ayusin ninyo? (Can you fix it?) You better shape up or ship out. Dadagdag pa kayo sa problema ni Presidente. Susmaryosep talaga (You’ll just add to the President’s problems. My goodness),” he said in his “Counterpoint” program Friday, Feb. 12.

“Hindi ko naman maintindihan dagdag pa kayo nang dagdag. Eh may pandemya na nga…Huwag pahirapan ang mga kababayan natin (I can’t understand why you have to add to our woes. There’s already a pandemic… Don’t add to the burden of our people),” he added.

Malacañang recently announced that President Duterte has decided the motor vehicle inspection program will no longer be mandatory, following mounting complaints about the additional costs in registering vehicles.

The LTO earlier accredited private firms to implement the vehicle inspection program, triggering concerns from some lawmakers and motorists. The vehicles are supposed to pass a stringent 73-point system to inspect their roadworthiness and prevent accidents. 

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque later clarified that motorists must choose between emission test and the road worthiness inspection prior to registering their vehicles. Roque added that the MVIS centers have promised to keep the rate at P600, similar to the rate of emission centers, and not increase the fees.

The inspection fees of vehicles originally ranged P1,500 to P1,800. Inspection of motorcycles cost P600 while a check on jeepneys amounts to P300. Re-inspection fees will also be collected if the vehicles fail the first test.

According to Panelo, President Duterte did not have to intervene in the MVIS issue if the transport officials did their job.

“Alam ninyo itong mga ganito hindi na pinapasukan ng Presidente. Dapat ‘yung nandyan sa LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board), LTO, Department of Transportation, dapat bago kayo maglabas naman kasi, pag-aralan ninyo (You know these issues should no longer be require the President’s intervention. Those in the LTFRB, LTO and Department of Transportation, you should study it before implementing it),” he said.

He lamented that the road inspection system would not only be cumbersome, but also expensive for motorists.

“Mayroon ka ng emission test, mayroon ka pang road worthiness tapos mahal pa. Buti sana kung dali-dali ma-inspeksyon. Aabutin ka ng siyam-siyam. talagang ano eh, pabigat (You have an emission test and you have a road worthiness test, which is expensive. It could have been good if the inspection is quick but it takes a while. It’s really a burden),” he said.

‘Saan ka ba galing Asec Galvante?’

Panelo also issued a wake-up call to LTO chief Edgar Galvante after supposedly making inaccurate statements about the vehicle inspection system. 

“Itong si Galvante. Hindi ko malaman kung saan lupalop ka nanggaling dahil binabanatan ka sa social media. Madami napadała sa amin. ‘Yung radio interview mo  or yung sa Senate hearing….mali-mali ang mga sagot mo (I don’t know where Galvate came from because you’re being criticized on social media. Many people sent me this information. You made inaccurate answers in your radio interview or during the Senate hearing),” he said.

“Pinagtatawanan ka na, nilalait ka pa tuloy. Siyempre damay na naman pamahalaan sa iyo. Saan ka ba galing Asec Galvante? Susmaryosep (You’re not only being mocked but also insulted. Of course, the government is being dragged into this. Where have you been Asec Galvante? My goodness),” he added.

Panelo also called the attention of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to address the latest concern affecting motorists. He said the transport issue should have already been settled at the level of the Cabinet Secretary, not the Palace.

“Secretary Art, mukhang you’re losing your… ano tawag doon? Kaya pala hindi ka na nakaka-return ng call, mukhang dinadagsa ka na ng problema ng mga bata mo diyan. Aba ayusin mo (You haven’t retuned my call apparently since your subordinates have been giving you problems. Better fix it),” he said.

“Itong mga ganito hindi na ito dapat nakakaabot sa palasyo. Dapat sa level pa lang ni Sec. Tugade, tapos na ito (This kind of issue should no longer reach the Palace. It should have been addressed at the level of Secretary Tugade),” he said.