Poe wants probe on LTO’s vehicle inspection centers

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    SEN. Grace Poe yesterday filed a resolution urging the Senate to conduct an investigation on the Land Transportation’s Office’s Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers (PMVICs) that critics claim has become a breeding ground for corruption.

    In 2018, the LTO issued a memorandum authorizing PMVICs 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 taken back to the PMVIC where the motorist is charged an additional P900 re-inspection fee to obtain clearance.

    Motorcycles and tricycles are charged P600 for the inspection fee and P300 for the re-inspection fee, if necessary.

    “The intention behind the law is noble, but the fees following its implementation cannot come at a worse time in the middle of a pandemic where people are barely getting by and now have to add another item in their list of expenses,” said Poe, who chairs the Senate committee on public services.

    The implementation of the Motor Vehicle Inspection System program to ensure the road worthiness of vehicles to prevent road accidents has been put in the back burner for more than 12 years. Before the program was rolled out, motorists only had to pay an average of P500 for smoke emission testing fee.

    The new inspection procedure is allegedly more thorough as it uses advanced technology to check vehicles from the inside out, but this has been criticized by a number of motorists.

    “It’s hard to ignore the accounts from motorists who have experienced glitches in the PMVIC test results that incurred additional costs on their part for re-inspection. The unreliability of the test results is problematic and burdensome, to say the least,” Poe added.

    She said another issue is the absence of interconnectivity between the IT system used by the PMVICs and the LTO, which means vehicle owners have to pay for another test in another testing center.

    The DOTr is targeting to roll out a total of 138 PMVICs nationwide.