Senate okays recommendation to repeal, probe MVIS program

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    THE Senate on Monday night approved the committee on public services’ recommendation to repeal and investigate the Department of Transportation’s order that privatized the motor vehicle inspection system.

    This came after panel chair Sen. Grace Poe presented Committee Report No. 184 to the plenary that cited the flaws in inspection standards, errors in test results, and lack of transparency in the accreditation process of Private Motor Vehicles Inspection Centers (PMVICs).

    The panel initially recommended the temporary suspension of PMVICs due to the issues hounding them that came out during past hearings.

    PMVICs were initially authorized to charge an inspection fee of P1,800 per motor vehicle weighing 4,500 kilograms or less, and to charge another P900 in case vehicles are subjected to re-inspection.

    President Duterte, however, ruled the MVIS is no longer mandatory since it would mean additional expenses on vehicle owners before they can register their vehicles with the Land Transportation Office.

    “While the 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,” Poe said.

    The Senate also approved the committee report’s recommendation to allow Congress and experts to determine the propriety of expressly allowing the privatization of the MVIS and delegating it to the private sector.

    In the committee report, it was found that the policy was altered to allow DOTr and Land Transportation Office employees to own PMVICs as long as they’re not part of the accreditation committee.

    It was also revealed the PMVICs are only charged an annual licensing fee of P50,000 for each center despite a projected annual income of P40 million.

    Poe said if the agency used the Motor Vehicle User’s Fund to finance the construction of PMVICs instead of privatizing it, the government could have generated more income and become less of a burden to motorists.

    According to data from the DOTr, a total of P11.1 billion in Motor Vehicle Inspection Center funds has not been released as of June 2019, while the capitalization for each PMVIC costs around P50 million. It was later found that 12 of the 24 incorporators of PMVICs do not have enough capitalization.

    “The anomalies surrounding the rollout of PMVICs far outweigh its good intention of uplifting road safety. If we turn a blind eye to the irregularities now, motorists will shoulder this burden for years to come,” Poe said.