Senate panel seeks repeal of DOTr issuances on privatization of MVIS | Inquirer News
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Senate panel seeks repeal of DOTr issuances on privatization of MVIS

/ 02:35 PM February 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate public services committee has recommended the repeal of an order issued by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and all accompanying issuances delegating the motor vehicle inspection system (MVIS) to private operators.

This recommendation was contained under Committee Report No. 184, which called the DOTr’s decision to privatize the MVIS a “deeply-flawed” and “half-baked” policy.”

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“The Committee is of the firm belief that the growing calls to abolish the PMVIS (private motor vehicle inspection system) is completely justified. The noble intent behind the implementation of the PMVIS cannot justify its continued existence. It is a deeply-flawed policy that does not address but instead, even exacerbates, the problems already tormenting Filipino motorists,” the report read.

“The repeal of DOTr DO (Department Order) 2018-19 and all related issuances is recommended…While fees have been lowered for now and testing seems to have been made optional, the implementation of this flawed program must be stopped definitively pending the resolution of issues hounding it,” it further said.

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The committee, chaired by Senator Grace Poe, cited various concerns on the implementation of the MVIS in its report.

These include issues on the legality its privatization, the supposed lack of consultation and transparency in accreditation, the inadequate number of inspection centers in operation, glitches in the system, and the overall incompatibility of private motor vehicle inspection systems with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) IT and landscape of motor vehicles in the country.

“All remain unresolved without decisive action from the Department,” according to the committee.

Further, Poe’s panel strongly recommended that the Senate blue ribbon committee probe “highly anomalous transactions” surrounding the accreditation of Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers (PMVICs) and officials involved.

“The questionable issuances seem to have created a favorable environment for an oligopoly where only very few players can enter and succeed,” the report read.

“The inexplicable dark moments during the evaluation process and lack of transparency in the eventual accreditation of winning service providers bear badges of fraud which should be further investigated by the appropriate committee,” it added.

The report also pointed out that the absence of a clear definition of roadworthiness, coupled with “identified flaws” in inspection standards, “almost guarantees that there will be errors in the test results.”

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“[N]ot only that this might lead to corruption, some also believe that it intends to facilitate the phaseout of older vehicles without due process,” it said.

The report also emphasized that while the policy of ensuring only roadworthy vehicles ply our roads is commendable, a “half-baked policy is a bad policy.”

“The implementation of a system as comprehensive as a Privatized MVIS which is expected to have far-reaching effects to all motorists in the country is best left to the jurisdiction of the legislature the same way that the Clean Air Act had to make the delegation to Private Emission Testing Centers clear and express in the language of the law,” the report read.

Poe earlier asked the DOTr and the LTO to submit the names of the companies and incorporators of the accredited PMVICs.

The committee report showed that 12 out of 24 PMVICs currently operating do not have enough capitalization to finance an expensive inspection center costing more than P50 million while eight others registered as sole proprietorships contained no information as to their financial standing.

“The lack of information on capitalization left this Committee wondering how sole proprietorships which were only created between 2018 and 2019 were able to get massive funding for the 2019 application process,” the report read.

Worse, the panel said in its report that the DOTr’s submissions “were bereft of any record” that the current PMVICs have secured accreditation from the DTI Philippine Accreditation Bureau as required by DO 2018-019.

“The requirement to submit accreditation belatedly after operations and collections have already started is a flawed policy considering that DTI accreditation is integral to the operations of a motor vehicle inspection system under the Clean Air Act,” it added.

On Feb. 11, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the MVIS will no longer be mandatory following the committee’s inquiry in its implementation.

On the same date, the DOTr announced on its Facebook page that the PMVIC testing fees were lowered from following a widespread backlash against the original rate—from P1,500 to P600 for private vehicles, from 600 to 500 for motorcycles. The rate for public utility jeepneys, however, will remain at P300, according to the report.

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TAGS: committee report, motor vehicle inspection, MVIS, Nation, News, Senate public services committee
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