The Philippine Senate is looking into the controversial Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers that were given accreditation by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to operate. The Land Transportation Office did not like the intervention or comments of the Senate.
There are reportedly around 180 inspection centers nationwide tasked to check the road worthiness or capability of private cars to traverse public thoroughfares safely. The inspection is prerequisite to the registration of newly acquired private vehicles and those whose registrations are to be renewed. Initial inspection will cost the registered car owner some P1,500. There are an estimated four million private vehicles in the Philippines. Motorcycles are required to have the same inspection, although at half of the price. Buses and trucks are not covered.
Iñigo Larrazabal, president of the Vehicle Inspection Center Owners Association, said their inspection centers have no capability to check big vehicles due to their machinery limitations.
In an interview with Miguel Enriquez of GMA NewsTV, Larrazabal revealed that every center has invested P50 million for its operations. The association has 80 members.
There were questions addressed to DOTr by some legislators as to how the accreditation was granted and whether or not the department has complied with the process under the Procurement Law. The Senate also questioned the focus of the inspection on privately owned vehicles instead of public utility vehicles (PUVs). There are more passengers to protect from accidents in PUVs.
In my opinion, whether one is riding a private car or PUV, the life of every person is just as precious regardless of mode of transportation. It is incumbent upon every car owner or driver to ensure his and his passengers’ safety.
It is always an issue of trust when the government tries to introduce something novel. Netizens’ reaction to the new requirement questioned the timing of its impending implementation. There are millions among us who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic. Any unbudgeted expenditure could already be considered an additional burden to Juan dela Cruz who is trying to eke out a living.
President Rodrigo Duterte, in cognizance of the health crisis, suspended the implementation of the child car seat law—although I find it irrelevant at this time when children below 12 are not allowed to go anywhere with specific guidelines to stay home.