House panel OKs bill to regulate use of vintage cars

Published June 1, 2021, 11:25 AM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

The House of Representatives’ Committee on Transportation approved on Tuesday, June 1, the bill that would regulate the use of vintage vehicles.

1-PACMAN Party-list Rep. Eric Pineda reported to the committee the contents of the substitute bill to House Bill No. 8244, or the proposed “Vintage Vehicle Act”, which also seeks to regulate the registration, importation and exportation of vintage cars.

The measure, revised by members of the House panel after a technical working group (TWG) meeting with stakeholders last February, covers vehicles that are at least 30 years old from the date of manufacture, and whose chassis, engine, steering and suspension are authentic, and whose body has not been altered.

Pineda said that under the bill, owners are mandated to register their vintage cars with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) every five years, and the vehicles will be given special license plates.

Prior to registration, the vehicle shall comply with the minimum safety and road-worthiness standards set by the LTO.

As initially proposed by its authors, the bill, on the other hand, exempts vintage cars from modern regulations on clean air, anti-pollution, safety devices, road use and other standards that were not in force at the time of their manufacture as conditions for registration and use in public roads.

The use of vintage vehicles shall be allowed on roads only on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, Pineda said.

Vintage cars cannot be used as public utility vehicles or to deliver goods.

The bill also allows the importation and exportation of vintage vehicles. But the exportation of vehicles that have historical significance shall not be allowed.

Aside from the creation of a Vintage Vehicle Registration and Assessment Office under the LTO, the bill also proposes the establishment and maintenance of a national database of vintage vehicles in the Philippines.

Pineda said the bill would help in preserving the country’s cultural and historical heritage.

He added that by encouraging the restoration of such vehicles, the measure would also give potential economic opportunity for the country amid the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Members of the TWG that the restoration and maintenance of vintage vehicles would offer potential economic opportunities,” he said, noting that the Philippines has the “largest vehicle restoration facility in the world” in Clark, Pampanga.

Aside from Pineda, other co-authors to the bill were Northern Samar Rep. Paul Daza, Valenzuela City Rep. Weslie Gatchlian, and Isabela Rep. Faustino Dy III. Other members of the House transportation committee were later made co-authors to the measure.