Senate unanimous in assailing DOTr on implementation of MVIS

Published August 24, 2021, 5:12 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

The Senate adopted on Tuesday, August 24, a resolution “strongly condeming” the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for continuing its motor vehicle inspection system (MVIS).

Senate of the Philippines’ plenary hall (Senate PRIB)

No senator objected to the ratification of an unnumbered resolution which calls out the DOTr for its “blatant disregard” of the Senate’s recommendations on MVIS’ implementation and even President Duterte’s order not to require it for vehicle registration.

The measure was earlier approved during Monday’s plenary session, following Senator Grace Poe’s privilege speech on the issue.

Poe, along with other senators, hit the transportation department for resuming the mandatory MVIS thru designated private motor vehicle inspection centers (PMVICs), despite the President’s order to suspend it last February.

According to the DOTr’s memorandum issued last July, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) will only accept motor vehicle registrations from authorized PMVICs within the so-called “geographical area of responsibility” or GAOR. But vehicle owners in areas not under the GAOR may still opt to undergo testing in a private emission testing center (PETC), the department clarified.

On Tuesday, the DOTr announced that it will suspend the mandatory PMVIC testing pending “an immediate and exhaustive review of the policy”.

“We welcome Secretary [Arthur] Tugade’s decision to hold off the mandatory testing by private motor vehicle inspection centers (PMVICs) until issues hounding the system are threshed out,” Poe said in a statement when asked for comment.

“We urge the DOTr to engage concerned stakeholders and hear out their proposals and complaints,” she added.

Still, Poe said the Senate should ratify the resolution to remind the DOTr of its responsibilities. She stood by the recommendations of her committee, the Senate Committee of Public Services, on the “flaws in inspection standards, errors in test results and the lack of transparency in the accreditation of private testing centers.”

“Even if we have a committee report that we already agree upon, sometimes, other department will just go ahead, after few months, and go back to their own style of reimplementing something that we already objected to,” she told her colleagues in Tuesday’s plenary session.

In the ratified resolution, senators “recognized that the DOTr intends to promote safer roads and prevent the loss of life and property.”

“However, this should not be done haphazardly and at the expense of the people already suffering because of the pandemic,” they said.

“It must be ensured that the reimplementation of this policy will not breed the same concerns as before and that it is not another case of trial and error that will add more problems,” senators pointed out.