PMVIC operations should be suspended says Senate committee

The Senate Committee on Public Services held a hearing today on the implementation of the Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS) through Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers (PMVICs). The committee has unanimously agreed to the suspension of operations of all Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers (PMVICs) throughout the country.

Senator Grace Poe, the committee chairwoman, earlier filed Resolution No. 634 to look into the implementation of Department Order 2018-019 by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Memorandum Circular No. 2018-2158 by the Land Transportation Office (LTO), and other related issuances.

During the senate hearing, a couple of things were raised which led to the eventual call for suspension. One of these issues was that the Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS) was implemented through the PMVICs, but without going through the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), as far as the fees are concerned.

“The costs are prohibitive for a still imperfect system. Mula sa P500 noon na emission testing fee, naging P1,500 o triple ang iminahal ngayon ng inspection fee. Dagdag pa ito sa mismong registration fee na maaaring umabot ng higit pa sa P3,000. Para sa isang sistema na napakaraming problema, makatwiran ba ang mga bayaring ito (From a [average] PhP500 emission test fee, it went up to PhP1,500 or 300%. This is on top of the registration fee that could cost a motorist up to PhP3,000. Are these fees reasonable for a flawed system)?” asked Sen. Poe.

Additionally, the senators asked why the new MVIS was rolled out even if the PMVICs were not capable of testing all types of vehicles, especially larger vehicles like buses and trucks that are usually involved in road mishaps. The senators also noted the hundreds of documented complaints about the "questionable" ability and processes conducted in the PMVICs.

Finally, the senators pointed out that the timing of the implementation was poor, considering that the country is still under a recession caused by the global pandemic. 

“The timing of its implementation could not have been worse. We are still in the middle of a pandemic with no definite end in sight. Hindi ba pwedeng time-out muna habang nasa gitna pa tayo ng pandemya (could we just call for a time out since we’re still in the middle of a pandemic)?” added Sen. Poe.