Taking up the cudgels for delivery riders, Surigao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Robert Ace Barbers has sought a House investigation on the No Contact Apprehension Policy (NCAP) after receiving reports and complaints from such riders that they are being slapped with enormous fees “without due process of law”.
“This NCAP system is laudable since the intent is to discipline erring, abusive or wayward drivers. But the implementors, I was told, are imposing excessive fines and could be violating the Constitution since there is no due process of law," said Barbers, who took up the matter in a privilege speech during the session Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 9.
"Likewise there is no law, ordinance or regulation prohibiting vehicle registration due to non-payment of fines for traffic violations,” he noted.
Barbers said NCAP is supposed to be implemented by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), in coordination with the Land Transportation Office (LTO), in all major thoroughfares in the region, but some local government units (LGUs), like Manila, Quezon City, Paranaque and Valenzuela have also acquired/adopted NCAP technology in their own localities.
Barbers says the implementation of NCAP gives "rise to more questions than answers", and that the resulting penalties become an additional burden and could become a source of corruption, institutionalized by the state.
“Do their respective CCTV monitors overlap with each other? What if one erring driver is caught on the MMDA NCAP and say, at the same time with Quezon City NCAP, will the driver be penalized twice for same offense?” he asked.
The chairman of the House Committee Dangerous Drugs said that while the intent of NCAP is to discipline erring drivers, the public should be enlightened about the details of its implementation to curb or stop abuses by the implementors.
Under the NCAP system, the MMDA or LGUs concerned issue notices/citation and mail them directly to the vehicles registered owners. Non-payment of dues/fines on a specific period (seven days) meant that violators’ vehicles won’t be accommodated for re-registration.
“How about the erring drivers of government-issued (red plate) vehicles? I understand the NCAP implementors are hastily imposing penalties against owners of vehicles involved in traffic violation. Do these NCAP implementors have a way of billing penalties to the government agencies concerned?” he asked.
Barbers said if the MMDA would be the only forum on where these erring drivers caught on NCAP CCTV monitors can file grievances, complaints, protests, then the agency would then virtually become “the accuser, judge and executioner.”
He said the public should also be informed on the details of the private technology/service providers, some security related issues, and accountability like where doi the penalties/fine or fees they collect go.
“With the NCAP by the MMDA and LGUs, what happened to the thousands of traffic enforcers hired by them, are we still paying for their salaries or have they joined the ranks of the unemployed? Is the NCAP intended to replace the traffic enforcers? If yes, who and how will the apprehension of drivers whose vehicles do not have plate numbers and other violations that cannot be captured by the cameras be conducted?” Barbers asked.