BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade yesterday ordered the suspension of mandatory testing at Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers (PMVIC) in so-called “geographic areas of responsibility”, or GAOR, so that the policy can be reviewed.
In a statement, the DOTr said that Tugade ordered the Land Transportation Office to maintain the previous registration process where motorists can choose between a PMVIC and a Private Emission Testing Center for the required vehicle inspection.
Under Memorandum SC 2021-02, motorists in areas under GAOR are required to have their vehicle tested at PMVICs while those outside it may choose to have their vehicles tested at PETCs and undergo roadworthiness inspection at an LTO office.
“Further, ocular roadworthiness inspections for heavy vehicles, or those with gross weight equal to 4501 kgs and above, are done by LTO personnel, and emission testing by the PETC, within the same GAOR,” the DOTr said.
It added that there is a need for a “smoother and more efficient” implementation of the policy while taking into consideration the current Covid-19 pandemic.
“In listening to the inputs of various stakeholders in the PMVIC program, Secretary Tugade calls for sobriety and unity to address the issues and concerns regarding this very important road transport policy of enhancing vehicle road worthiness inspection,” the DOTr said.
Earlier, Senator Grace Poe asked the DOTr to suspend the mandatory PMVIC testing due to its higher cost, noting that the policy is “ill-timed” in the middle of the pandemic.
She said that almost all regions in the country are now covered by GAOR, expect for Cordillera, Caraga and BARMM.
Aside from higher costs, she said PMVICs have also been problematic due to long lines without social distancing and some forcing motorists to purchase insurance policies from PMVIC operators to get a passing mark.
In Bacolod, a Sangguniang Panlungsod committee conference has been scheduled Friday to discuss the issues arising from the implementation of the policy several days ago.
Councilor Dindo Ramos, chairman of the SP Committee on Transportation, said the body had earlier passed a resolution asking the DOTr to defer the implementation of the policy in the city.
A resolution requesting President Rodrigo Duterte, through Tugade, to suspend the policy was also earlier sponsored by Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr.
Gamboa said the lone PMVIC operating in Bacolod cannot accommodate all vehicles from five areas under its GAOR, including Silay, Talisay, Bago, Murcia, and Bacolod, and this will cause delays in the renewal of registration, and LTO can impose penalties on late registration.*with report from PNA