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Sunday, April 5, 2020

DOTr On The False Arguments Of The Newly-Created National Public Transport Coalition

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On the false and reckless arguments of the newly-created National Public Transport Coalition on the MVIS

We welcome the move by the newly-established National Public Transport Coalition (NPTC), led by Atty. Ariel Inton, to examine government policies and initiatives on transportation. However, and with all due respect, we take strong exception to the group s statement, which at its best, is misguided, and at its worst, is misinformed.

The NPTC, through a recently-released manifesto, has questioned the need to privatize the Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS) for common carriers, and the use of Euro 4 standards as an MVIS criterion.

It must be emphasized that the primordial objective of the MVIS is to assure that only ROADWORTHY vehicles will be allowed on the streets, and only through the technology-driven MVIS that we can be assured that road safety will be upheld, and accidents caused by mechanical malfunctions, especially from old and dilapidated trucks, buses and public utility jeepneys will be reduced, if not totally eliminated.

To add, one of the best parts of this program is that human intervention is reduced to a minimum, therefore minimizing the potential for corruption.

It is also noteworthy to stress that the privatization of the MVIS, through the establishment of carefully selected and accredited private motor vehicle inspection centers (MVICs), will free government of budgetary expenditure and operational burden that are necessary for the inspection, such as the purchase of inspection equipment and the lease of property which will house the MVIC. These savings can be better used by the government to fund other key areas in the modernization of the country s transportation infrastructure.

Likewise, we are most confident that putting the MVIS of common carriers in the hands of the private sector will spur greater efficiency and productivity for road transport stakeholders.

We also need to explicitly clarify the matter of Euro 4 compliance by common carriers, and the irresponsible assertion of the NPTC that it is part of the MVIS requirement, which will result in the forced phase out of non-compliant vehicles.

This is a clear case of misconception and misinformation by the NPTC as the Euro 4 engine emission standard was not made mandatory because of the MVIS, but because it is required under the CLEAN AIR ACT OF 1999 or RA 8749, which enjoins compliance to emission standards set forth by the DENR.

It should be noted that as clearly stipulated in RA 8749, ALL VEHICLES, whether private or common carriers, should comply with Euro 4 emission standards starting January 2018. The MVIS, therefore, is simply the complementary process which will check common carriers for road worthiness, and this includes subject vehicles passing emission standards as set forth by law.

And, finally, allow us to clarify that the functions of the Accreditation Committee has nothing to do with the determination of technical specifications of the MVIS, as well as the fees to be collected for it. The accreditation committee is only concerned with the selection process.

In relation to this, NPTC s claim that operators of common carriers or public utility vehicles will be charged a P5,000 fee for MVIS once it becomes privatized is GROSSLY INACCURATE. The proposed fee is only P1,800, based on a study done by the Public-Private Partnership Center, as premised on the average cost of a full tank of fuel in a vehicle. In fact, currently, the LTO is proposing lower rates (than P1,800) for private motorcycles and motor vehicles, and special rates for public utility vehicles. Public consultations will be conducted in late February.

With these, we reitarate that we remain most open to consider inputs of the NPTC on the policy development and implementation of the MVIS, provided that these be based on reasonable, logical and actuarial modern transport framework.

We disdain declarations that only serve to create undue hysteria and confusion, resulting to unwarranted negative public perception, and we call out Atty Inton to accord us the respect of our mandate, especially given the fact that he had every opportunity to have adopted his desired policy when he was part of government.

With all of these, we hope to have cleared the issues on the MVIS and the Euro 4 compliance raised by NPTC. We reiterate that our pursuit of the program is driven by our mandate to provide our motorists and commuters a road transport policy that encompasses modernization, reliability, efficiency and most of all, safety.

Rest assured that we will remain steadfast and resolute in delivering the kind of public service that the people deserve.

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