By Noel Talacay
THE spokesman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) yesterday said media may have misinterpreted the Commission on Audit (COA) report about the 399 unregistered vehicles of the agency released last September 30.
“Siguro sir, misinterpreted lang po noong mga unang kaibigan natin sa media na nagsulat.
Yun lang po ang nahighlight pero part ng COA report ay COA recommendation din po,” said said spokeswoman assistant Secretary Celine Pialago of the report carried by several news outlets.
Last Thursday, the COA said the MMDA failed to have 75 percent of its 531 fleet of motor vehicles registered with the Land Transportation Office, a violation of RA 4136 or the LTO Traffic Code requiring that no motor vehicle can operate on any public road if it is not registered.
“As one of the implementing agencies for traffic enforcement, MMDA should act as a role model for the public,” the COA said.
The MMDA Transport Division admitted the audit observation and cited several reasons for non-compliance, saying most of the unregistered vehicles were either non-operational, undergoing repairs, or were used in urgent operations when they were already due for renewal.
It also disclosed that some failed the LTO’s road-worthiness test due to age and wear and tear. These include those that did not pass the smoke emission standards, had faulty lights, and those with corroded chassis numbers making them unidentifiable.
In a television, Pialago said media should have also highlighted the recommendation of COA that the MMDA request funds from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the repair of the vehicles or possible acquisitions of brand new vehicles.
She said that all MMDA-owned vehicles being deployed on major thoroughfares are registered. She added that “all the non-registered vehicles of the agency are being placed in the MMDA central office; no one is allowed to use it.”
MMDA chief Danny Lim had previously posted on his Facebook account that the agency is taking the COA’s findings seriously.
“We would like to assure the public that we are handling this matter seriously and talking serious measure to immediately address the issues,” he said.
He pointed out that the report of the commission was referring to the mixed assets of MMDA, including those vehicles being lined up for repairs pending the delivery of parts.
He added that some of the vehicles have been auctioned off but haven’t been crossed out of the books yet while unused vehicles are being processed for disposal and don’t need to be registered.
“I have already ordered the Transport Unit and Supply Division to fast track the replacement of parts and repair of serviceable vehicles to be ready for LTO registration. In addition, personnel who will be proven to have committed negligence on their behalf will be sanctioned accordingly,” he said.