MANILA, Philippines — In the wake of calls for its suspension and a petition filed against it in the Supreme Court, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reaffirmed its “full support” to enforce the no-contact apprehension policy (NCAP).
“The MMDA fully supports the “No Contact Apprehension Program” (NCAP), which is being implemented by some Metro Manila local government units (LGUs), and stands in solidarity with them in this respect,” said the agency in a statement.
Five Metro Manila mayors on Wednesday stuck to NCAP, even after transport groups asked the Supreme Court to issue a halt to the policy.
According to the MMDA, however, there is empirical evidence that the MMDA’s version of NCAP was and continues “to be an effective force multiplier to its traffic enforcers on the ground and has raised public awareness on and compliance with the existing traffic and transports laws, rules and regulations.”
“There is no doubt that the same experience is true for the Metro Manila LGUs,” said the MMDA.
It also reiterated the state’s policy under the Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act No. 7160), which provides LGUs autonomy in crafting and implementing their own traffic regulations.
It also noted the law’s mandate which states that “any provision on a power of a local government unit shall be liberally interpreted in its favor” and any fair and reasonable doubt as to the existence of the power “shall be interpreted in favor of the local government unit concerned.
The agency then assured that it is aware of the concerns hounding the NCAP, but said that collaborative and constructive discussions can fix these problems and maintain an inclusive and balanced NCAP.
“Thus, the MMDA endeavors to strike a sustainable balance between public interest on one hand and the traffic and transport management function of government on the other within the National Capital Region,” it said.
Earlier, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) urged the LGUs to suspend the implementation of NCAP, after some motorists with no violations complained of being fined, while some complained of being fined twice for the same offense.
After opposition from LGUs, however, LTO chief Teofilo Guadiz III instead urged local chief executives to sit down with the LTO and the MMDA to address the NCAP’s policies, even forming a technical working group to resolve the issues hounding it.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Quezon City Fourth District Rep. Marvin Rillo filed a resolution directing three committees of the Congress’ lower chamber to probe NCAP.