Issues surrounding the implementation of the Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS) through accredited Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers (PMVIC) keep on piling every day. In fact, these concerns have now reached the senate, and one has even called for a probe.
Senator Grace Poe, the current chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, has 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.
“The intention behind the law is noble, but the fees following its implementation cannot come at a worse time in the middle of a pandemic where people are barely getting by and now have to add another item in their list of expenses,” said Sen. Poe.
The LTO issued a memorandum circular back in 2018, authorizing PMVICs to collect an inspection fee of P1,800 from motor vehicles weighing 4,500 kilograms or less and P600 for motorcycles to obtain a clearance certificate to renew their vehicle's registration. If the vehicle fails the test, it will be required to undergo the necessary repairs and once again undergo inspection at the PMVIC. The motorist is charged an additional P900 (P300 for motorcycles) for re-inspection fee.
“Isipin mo naman, pati mga naghahanap-buhay na mag-deliver at namamasada pipigaan pa natin ng pera. 'E 'di wala na silang naiuwi sa pamilya nila (Think about it, even those with barely enough to make ends meet like couriers and public transport drivers are forced to pay these fees. There will be nothing left for their families),” Poe said.
The implementation of the MVIS program — which was conceived to inspect registering vehicles' roadworthiness and prevent road accidents — has been put on the back burner for more than 12 years. Before the program was rolled out, motorists only had to pay an average of P500 for the emission testing fee, which is in accordance with the Clean Air Act.
“It's hard to ignore the accounts from motorists who have experienced glitches in the PMVIC test results that incurred additional costs on their part for re-inspection. The unreliability of the test results is problematic and burdensome, to say the least," Poe stressed.
Another issue is the absence of interconnectivity between the IT system used by the PMVICs and the LTO, which means vehicle owners have to pay for another test in another testing center.
The DOTr is targeting to roll out a total of 138 PMVICs nationwide. The lack of transparency in the selection of the PMVICs elicited apprehension among concerned groups that the program has become a breeding ground for corruption.