Car inspections can’t be delegated to private sector – Drilon

Published March 5, 2021, 6:02 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Friday said the motor vehicle inspection system (MVIS) cannot be delegated to private contractors, being part of the government’s regulatory functions.

(JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Drilon, a lawyer, said that unlike public service that may be contracted out by law, motor vehicle inspection “is a regulatory function which cannot be validly delegated to the private sector.” “The delegation to the private contractors of the motor vehicles inspection program is an exercise of police power to enforce public safety and regulate the use of public roads,” the former justice secretary and Senate president said in a text message sent to reporters on March 5.

“Providing public service can be delegated by law to the private sector, such as health services, but not a regulatory function such a motor vehicle inspection,” he added.

Drilon further noted: “To delegate, for a fee, the inspection of motor vehicles means that a motor vehicle owner pays a fee for the certification of road worthiness. [It is] Dangerous.” “And, assuming it can be validly contracted out to the private sector, there is even no law authorizing it,” he also said.

The Senate minority leader issued the statement after he was asked about the Vehicle Inspection Centers Owners Association of the Philippines’ (VICOAP) appeal to President Duterte to allow the resumption of the PMVIC Program.

In a letter dated February 27, which was also published in newspapers as an advertisement, the VICOAP said “issues are being sensationalized” and being used “as a platform to gain political mileage”.

“Your DOTr (Department of Transportation ) and LTO (Land Transportation Office) are belabored by false accusations of corruption and inefficiency,” the group also claimed.

“I suggest they all explain their position to the blue ribbon com[mittee],” Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, however, said of the VICOAP’s statements.

On March 1, the Senate adopted the report of the public services committee which calls for the immediate repeal of all government issuances that allowed the privatization of the MVIS.

Senators had questioned the legality of the operations of private motor vehicle inspection centers (PMVICs), pointing out that existing laws do not provide for the delegation of the MVIS to the private sector.

The panel then said that the privatization of the MVIS is “best left” to Congress to make such policy explicit in the Clean Air Act.

The public services committee, led by Senator Grace Poe, also referred the issue on PMVICs to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee for possible anomalies in the DOTr and the LTO’s selection of inspection centers.

 
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