Senator Grace Poe called out the indecorum of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) who failed to issue a formal memorandum that inspection by Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers (PMVICs) remains optional and not mandatory, resulting in confusion and chaos among motorists in the different regions.
“That’s very unprofessional. Ano ba naman ‘yung isang page na ipa-type ninyo, ipa-press release na ninyo kung hindi niyo mapaabot o ma-email sa mga regional directors ninyo,” said Poe who asked the LTO to release the said memo within the day.
At the Senate finance subcommittee meeting on the Department of Transportation (DOTr) budget, the veteran legislator questioned the priority of LTO—if it’s really bent on ensuring the roadworthiness of vehicles or it’s just in fact helping line other people’s pockets with its disregard for due process.
“Talagang importante ang roadworthiness.”
“Talagang importante ang roadworthiness. Pero kung ipagpipilitan nila ‘yung PMVIC ngayon, the very least they can do is increase the number of operational PMVICs by opening the bidding and making the process transparent. Hindi ‘yung parang nagulat na lang tayo na may mga may-ari na,” the seasoned lawmaker stressed.
The lady senator referred to the questionable bidding of the PMVICs that didn’t go through due process normally required of a public-private partnership.
While there are currently 808 Private Emission Testing Centers (PETCs) nationwide, only 72 PMVICs are in operation out of the 114 that have been granted a provisional authority to operate.
She described the PMVICs as a big mall compared to PETCs that are like sari-sari stores which are less modernized but meet minimum standards.
“Papupuntahin niyo ako sa bayan na malayo para lang mamalengke kahit na pwede naman dito.”
“Parang ang nangyayari ngayon, sinasabi na doon lang kayo mamalengke sa malalaking mall. Papaano naman ako na nakatira sa baryo na ang pinakamalapit lang sa akin ay sari-sari store? Papupuntahin niyo ako sa bayan na malayo para lang mamalengke kahit na pwede naman dito,” Poe explained.
She asked for the intervention of DOTr Sec. Arthur Tugade who himself admitted that there is a lapse in communication within the agency and agreed with Poe that PMVICs should not be mandatory and motorists should have the freedom to exercise their option.