During the recent Senate Committee on Public Services hearing, which unanimously called for the suspension of all Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers (PMVICs) throughout the county, the senators also discovered another flaw with regards to its implementation.
That is, instead of first testing public utility vehicles (PUVs) the new Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS) run by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) went ahead to Phase 2 of its implementation which is for the privately owned vehicles, including motorcycles.
“Another question that I would like to ask, Asec. Galvante, why did you prioritize private vehicles? We know public vehicles, for example, buses, not all, but catastrophes that are really big tragedies occur here in these public vehicles that more people ride and benefit from. Many people still think that you will earn in private vehicles because it is more. How many private vehicles are there in the country, please tell, how many are there?” asked committee chairwoman, Grace Poe.
Failure of bidding
To explain as to why, DOTr assistant secretary, Giovanni Lopez, said that while the government was readying Phase 1 of MVIS implementation for PUVs, procurement of the necessary equipment failed, and thus, they relied on private investors to go ahead with what is now the PMVICs.
“Yes, the Road Board gave us money for us to procure Mobile Vehicle Inspection System for PUVs. So we gave it to PITC so that they could procure it,” said Lopez.
“What happened is that there was a failure in bidding so the funds were reverted to our National Treasury. So that's the first plan [that is] supposed to address directly the public utility vehicles. And phase 2 is to address private motor vehicle[s]. So, what we did to continue the program is that we pushed through with the 2nd phase which is the private motor vehicles, by accrediting the [PMVICs]. But at the same time we have to roll-out the PUJs, the PUVs,” added Lopez.
Study with private vehicles
The senators, not pleased with the DOTr as well as the LTO’s explanation, declared that the system of the MVIS’s implementation was greatly flawed.
“So, what you are saying now is that it is great for us to prioritize private vehicles so that we can find a way to be easier for public vehicles? It seems very flawed to me,” said the baffled Sen. Poe, after Asec. Lopez claimed that they have to “study as much as possible” the private motor vehicles so that they could adjust and reduce the standards to be set for passenger-carrying PUVs.