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Vehicle inspections held back, too

President Duterte has made the motor vehicle inspection system (MVIS) nonmandatory even as operators of private motor vehicle inspection centers (PMVICs) agreed to “operate at a loss” by lowering their inspection rates and suspending the collection of reinspection fees for a year.

“The MVIS is no longer mandatory, which means there should be no new fees, no additional fees for the registration of vehicles,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said in a Palace briefing on Thursday.

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“What all of us will be paying now if we renew registration is the amount that we used to pay before,” he said.

Lowered fees

In a press briefing also on Thursday, Iñigo Larrazabal, president of the Vehicle Inspection Center Owners Association of the Philippines (VICOAP), announced that they would lower their fees for the 70-part test for light vehicles to just P600, the same rate being charged by private emission testing centers.

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For motorcycles and jeepneys, PMVICs would charge P500 and P300, respectively. The group also decided to suspend the collection of reinspection fees.

“In the same way that we responded to the first call of the government about roadworthiness and made the investment without hesitation, we continue to believe that this is a good and worthy program,” Larrazabal said.

According to VICOAP, the move was in response to the call of the House committee on transportation for them to help out motorists who were struggling financially.

Moral obligation

Earlier this week, the Senate committee on public services recommended that the operations of PMVICs be suspended temporarily due to issues over the privatization of the service.

According to Larrazabal, their work “goes beyond compliance and regulation.”

“Our work in PMVICs goes beyond compliance and regulation. This is about saving lives. No one can mandate us to save other people’s lives; this is our moral obligation to make sure that our vehicles are safe not just for our families, but that we don’t pose a threat to others on the road,” he told reporters.

Cannot wait

The creation of PMVICs was based on Department Order No. 2018-019 issued by the Department of Transportation and Memorandum Circular No. 2018-2158 of the Land Transportation Office. The memorandum circular authorized PMVICs to charge an inspection fee of P1,800 for motor vehicles weighing 4,500 kilograms or less on top of a P900 reinspection fee, and P600 for motorcycles and tricycles with a P300 reinspection fee.

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Leo Olarte, president of the Clean Air Philippines Movement Inc., asked Congress to sponsor a bill that would authorize the government to subsidize PMVIC fees for a temporary period or during the pandemic instead of suspending its implementation.

“Our life-threatening problems on respiratory and cardiovascular diseases due to unabated motor vehicle emissions and also the needless Filipino deaths yearly due to road accidents or crashes and, of course, the equally urgent global problem on climate change cannot wait to be addressed anymore,” he said.

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TAGS: duterte, Motor Vehicle Inspection System, PMVIC, Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Center, Transportation
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