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SC: NCR LGUs cannot issue traffic violations, tickets, unless authorized

The Supreme Court has ruled that local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila cannot issue traffic violations receipts or ordinance violation receipts (OVRs) against drivers unless authorized by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

In a 42-page decision, the SC En Banc issued a permanent injunction to enjoin the LGUs from further issuing OVRs and confiscating licenses through their own traffic enforcers.

It declared null and void sections of the ordinances of Makati, Taguig, Paranaque, Pasay, Quezon City, San Juan, Navotas, Las Piñas, Pasig, Muntinlupa, Mandaluyong, Valenzuela, Caloocan, Manila, and Pateros.

“The Court thus declares as invalid the common provision in the said traffic codes or ordinances of the LGUs in Metro Manila empowering each of them to issue OVRs to erring drivers and motorists,” the SC said.

According to the Court, the MMDA has already issued a joint circular implementing the single ticketing system in Metro Manila.

“[T]he Court so holds that the Joint Circular is valid and must thus be implemented with full force and effect so as to accomplish the intent of the legislature in enacting the MMDA Law,” it said.

The case stemmed from the appeal filed by transport groups which sought to assail the ruling of the Court of Appeals that denied their petition against the ordinances for lack of merit.

For its part, the SC reversed and set aside the ruling of the CA.

Meanwhile, the Court said that it is not unmindful of the mandate of the State to ensure the autonomy of local governments.

“[T]he Court also finds that the autonomy of the LGUs will not be unduly determined by the ruling in this case, as their interests are amply protected by the very structure of the MMDA as established by the MMDA Law,” it said. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News