The Senate on Monday approved the recommendation to repeal the Department of Transportation (DOTr) order and all other related issuances privatizing the motor vehicle inspection system (MVIS).
During its session, the chamber adopted Committee Report 184 of the Senate Committee on Public Services on its investigation on private motor vehicle inspection centers (PMVICs), led by Senator Grace Poe.
According to the report, DOTR's Department Order 2018-019 is "half-baked" and needs to undergo the normal legislative process inherent in Congress.
“While fees have been lowered for now and testing seems to have been made optional, the implementation of this flawed program must be stopped definitively pending the resolution of issues hounding it,” it added.
Poe earlier called for the suspension of private motor vehicle inspection center operations amid lingering issues that were detrimental to motorists.
Under the Land Transportation Office (LTO) memorandum laying out the guidelines for the new system, PMVICs are authorized to collect an inspection fee of P1,800 from motor vehicles weighing 4,500 kilograms or less.
If the vehicle fails the test, it will be required to undergo necessary repairs and be taken back to the private inspection centers. The motorist would then be charged an additional P900 reinspection fee to obtain a clearance.
Motorcycles and tricycles are also charged P600 for the inspection fee and P300 for the reinspection fee.
The Senate panel, during its hearing, took note of the various concerns hounding the system.
These included issues on the legality of the MVIS privatization, lack of consultation and transparency in accreditation, inadequate number of inspection centers in operation, glitches in the system, and overall incompatibility of private motor vehicle inspection systems with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) IT and landscape of motor vehicles in the country.
The panel also recommended that the Senate blue ribbon committee conduct a further investigation on the “highly anomalous transactions” on the accreditation of PMVICs and officials involved.
“The questionable issuances seem to have created a favorable environment for an oligopoly where only very few players can enter and succeed,” the committee report said.
“The inexplicable dark moments during the evaluation process and lack of transparency in the eventual accreditation of winning service providers bear badges of fraud which should be further investigated by the appropriate committee,” it added.
The panel likewise emphasized that older vehicles are at risk of being unduly rejected under the current system.
“The absence of a clear definition of roadworthiness, coupled with identified flaws in the inspection standards, almost guarantees that there will be errors in the test results," it said.
"Not only that this might lead to corruption, some also believe that it intends to facilitate the phaseout of older vehicles without due process," it added.
The House of Representatives is also conducting its investigation on PMVICs. — DVM, GMA News