SENATORS Grace Poe and Senate pro tempore Ralph Recto yesterday finally voiced out what had long been loud whispers – that the move of the Department of Transportation to privatize its vehicle inspection program, through the Land Transportation Office, is prone to corruption.
In a television interview, Poe said the delegation of the motor vehicle inspection to the private sector is highly debatable and suspicious.
“There’s really no basis, no legal basis for the DOTr, to delegate a power that has been delegated to them. They have the power to do the testing but for them to delegate to a private company or individual, there are legal concerns about that,” Poe said.
Poe questioned how 23 private motor vehicle inspection centers (PMVICs) were chosen by the DOTr as she cited figures put forward by Recto that these PMVICs stand to earn P8 billion.
The government, she added, will earn only P100,000 from each center per year. “That’s where it is highly suspicious,” Poe said.
“All of a sudden, they allowed the 23 to operate with not one regulation in place when they rolled it out. So the question (that) begs to be asked, who are these preferred individuals?” Poe said.
She said she asked the DOTr in Tuesday’s hearing on the issue to provide her committee with a list of the owners of the 23 PMVICs currently operating as well as its incorporators.
The PMVICs charge P1,800 to check on the roadworthiness of vehicles weighing 4,500 kg or less, and another P900 if the vehicle fails the test and needs to be re-inspected.
Motorcycles are charged P600 for the inspection, and another P300 for re-inspection.
Poe said the inspection fee has been reduced to P1,500.
Poe said the DOTr should prioritize the inspection of public vehicles rather than private vehicles because the former figure in more accidents every year.
“Those are really the concern of the riding public,” she said.