Last month, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) said that testing (cars and motorcycles) at Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers (PMVICs) is no longer mandatory but are optional.
The statement was made official in an earlier memo from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Memorandum Circular 2021-01.
However, one particular section (2. A) on the said DOTr memo got the motoring public up in arms again as it says that visual inspection is still mandatory. Wouldn’t that effectively mean that going through a PMVIC is still a requirement since emission testing centers (PETCs) are not equipped or trained to inspect vehicles?
The DOTr, through assistant secretary, Goddes Hope Libiran, clarifies.
“To clarify, matagal nang may visual inspection. Even prior to the establishment of PMVICs. Nagkaroon kasi ng kalituhan ‘yung iba noon because they thought MVIS and PMVIC are the same. They are not. MVIS is the system, PMVIC is the private facility (To clarify, visual inspection has been there for a long time. Even prior to the establishment of PMVICs. There was confusion to some because they thought that MVIS and PMVIC are the same. They are not. MVIS is the system, PMVIC is the private facility), said Asec. Libiran.
In a nutshell, the DOTr said that visual inspection is still being done in all LTO offices. If you’re familiar with the process of vehicle registration (read our story here), one of the steps is stencil, where the vehicle or motorcycle’s engine and chassis number are etched on an LTO Motor Vehicle Inspection Report form. Yes, it’s the form with the word “vehicle inspection” on it. Besides the etching, the vehicle is supposed to be inspected as well during this process.
The form itself has boxes where an inspector, or an inspector aide, is tasked with checking or filling up information as he or she visually inspects the vehicle, or in our case, our motorcycle.
PMVICs, on the other hand, also do the same checking. However, this process is done with more sophisticated machines inside a dedicated facility in order to provide a more precise and objective assessment.
According to the LTO, either process (visual or through PMVIC) is accepted. Those that want a more thorough assessment may still proceed to PMVICs to receive computerized results. The same can be done at LTO offices with qualified personnel.