AROUND 149 out of an estimated 1,000 impounded vehicles have already been released from the impounding section of the Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (TEAM) office in Barangay Centro since May 22, but the number is expected to increase after the traffic authority lessened the requirements to claim the vehicles.

Hyll Retuya, legal head and the new admin head of Impounding Section of TEAM said on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, said he wanted to hasten the release of impounded vehicles to decongest the facility.

Retuya said that some vehicle owners chose not to redeem their vehicles due to the many requirements that they have to comply.

Councilor Jimmy Lumapas, chairman of the Committee on Transportation, authored Ordinance No. 211-2023 granting relief and/or amnesty to owners of the impounded vehicles from the payment of the accumulated storage fee.

The ordinance was passed on the first reading on Monday, May 22, 2023 before it was forwarded to the city council’s Committee on Laws.

The second reading will be held during the council’s regular session on Monday, June 5.

Based on the ordinance, owners of the impounded vehicles are given three months to claim their units.

For public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers, they need to be evaluated for their previous traffic violations before they could claim their vehicles.

For vehicles impounded from January 2020 to December 2022, the penalties will be at P1,000, including total storage fee, towing fees, and surcharge, and the amounts reflected in the traffic citation ticket.

Several vehicle owners were glad about the development.

A certain Gregg, 34, a habal-habal driver from Barangay Alang-Alang, said he can now redeem his motorcycle which was confiscated in December 2022 due to expired registration.

Gregg said he stopped working after that and took care of their two children, while her wife was working in the mall as a sales lady.

Raymond Dolorido of Banawa in Cebu City visited the TEAM office on Wednesday, May 31, to inquire on how he could get his motorcycle which was seized confiscated on Tuesday, May 30, due to lack of registration.

"Lisud kung way motor magamit nig trabaho (It’s difficult going to work without a motorcycle)," Dolorido said.

Retuya said around 95 percent of those impounded are private vehicles, while five percent are public utility vehicles. (HIC)