Sometime in February this year, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to suspend the mandatory conduct of the motor vehicle inspection system (MVIS), a requirement for the registration or renewal of vehicles, following mounting protests and complaints by car owners. Prior to the implementation of the privately owned MVIS, vehicles being registered by LTO were required only the smoke emission test by private emission testing centers.
But with the arrival of private motor vehicle inspection centers (PMVIC), vehicles must pass an automated three stage system with 73 inspection points before being considered roadworthy and eligible.
Sometime in July, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) released a new memorandum circular that outlines geographical guidelines for the LTO to accept only the Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR) from the PMVICs in their designated areas. This DOTr memorandum circular published in national newspapers means that all LTO branches, may they be a district office or extension office, will only accept MVIRs from authorized PMVICs within their Geographical Area of Responsibility (GAOR).
This means the DOTr and LTO will be matching up PMVICs with LTO district and extension offices depending on their geographical location. However, the memorandum circular did not declare the specifics of the GAOR, particularly which PMVIC corresponds to an LTO office (district and extension offices) and vice versa.
Okay, granting that this is the new system but are the DOTr and LTO adopting these new guidelines without perfecting their system? I received a letter-complaint from a car registrant, Lorna Labra Ubod, about her sad experience when she registered her car at the LTO Mandaue City office. Here’s her letter-complaint in toto:
“This is in relation to what I have experienced in LTO Mandaue City three days ago. I filed for my car registration renewal for 2021 in LTO, J Park Mall, after completing all the requirements necessary for a new registration. I went for emission testing and had the test done by the emission testing situated in V. Rama. After I got the emission test result certifying that the car passed the emission test, I then procured a new insurance to comply to one of the requirements needed.”
“As I have been doing all these years, I went to the Motor Vehicle Inspection Service (MVIS) the one located near the NTC office, for the car to be issued a clearance for the final step for the registration. Again, my car was given the clearance for registration. After waiting for almost two hours and after I gave the registration papers to LTO Mandaue office, I was informed that because I had my emission test done outside and not at the new testing center, the one located just at the back of the old MVIS as what LTO office recommended, I have to pay again the penalty that I already paid last Feb. 21.
“My payment‘s receipt was duly issued by same LTO office as penalty for my failure by not going to the new emission and testing center they recommended. The other reason they cited because they are using the new ‘Dual System’ of registration and having my emission done outside, their system does not have the record that I already paid for the penalty as well as because their dual system is new and not yet interconnected.
“This is according to the LTO officer I talked to. They do not have my record of previous payment, the system can’t also read the MVIS inspection and emission results because it’s not done by their recommended testing center. But the officer told me that if I will pay the penalty again or agree to have a new emission and vehicle inspection in the designated and accredited testing center, then I can be issued a new registration.
“In doing so, my penalty will be waived and by then, their dual system will be able to read my emission results which now comes from their recommended/favored testing center. When I asked the LTO officer how come their dual system is not interconnected yet, his answer was; ‘I agree that your complaint is a valid one but we don’t know anything why this is so because only the central office has the reason why there is no interconnectivity yet between the dual systems we are using.
“Bottom line is, unless, we, vehicle owners, go to their designated testing center for emission and car check, our car registration will not be processed as their systems do not recognize our MVIS clearance and outside emission results. Thank you Super Bob for giving me this chance to voice out my frustration on how the vehicle owners are being held hostage by this new type of new normal registration. Thank you.”
Can our LTO officials address the complaint of Ms. Ubod?