The Vehicle Inspection Centers Operators Association of the Philippines (VICOAP) expressed its dismay over the alleged vilification of Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers (PMVIC) during a public hearing at the Senate.
VICOAP Spokesperson Atty. Fudge Tajar claimed that many accusations and lies were thrown against the PMVIC operators.
“It was unfortunate that representatives from our industry were not invited to the committee hearing to answer the accusations and lies hurled against PMVIC operators. The non-stop black propaganda not only undermines our duly accredited processes; it also impedes progress for road safety in the country as well,” Tajar said.
She cited La Union Vice Mayor Mannix Ortega’s claim during the hearing that the PMVIC’s roadworthiness machine testing is debatable.
“With all due respect to the vice mayor, all testing equipment used in PMVICs have undergone regulatory procedures in the Philippines. These are the same machines that are also used in vehicle inspections facilities all over the world; in both developing and developed countries. Malicious presumptions, especially those made in official public venues such as Senate Sub-Committee Budget hearings, are akin to fake news peddling. We are not sure if he is merely trying to protect the interests of PETC owners,” Tajar explained.
“Aside from the quality of inspections, the PMVICs are also required to be linked to the Land Transportation Management System (LTMS), a modern and centralized portal that ensures data cannot be manipulated. Likewise, the PMVICs are required to record and upload the videos of every single vehicle being inspected to the LTMS — yet another layer that ensures transparency and integrity in the process. Such measures are not present for PETCs, and that is why corruption continues to proliferate there,” she added.
Further, the group also belied the statement of Ariel Lim, another resource person at the hearing, that PMVICs are only conducting emission testing similar to PETCs.
“That is a ridiculous claim since inspections at PMVICs are comprised of more than just emissions. The inspections include visual inspection of above and under-carriage, sideslip test for wheel alignment, suspension test, roller brake test, speedometer test, headlight test, exhaust noise level test, and finally, exhaust emission tests. There is absolutely no comparison,” the spokesperson elaborated.
Tajar also reminded that the PMVIC rates have been set at P600 for light vehicles, P500 for motorcycles, and P300 for for-hire vehicles, per inspection (VAT exclusive) compared to the PETC inspection fees of P400-P500.
“It is high time that road safety standards in the country are elevated. The supposed convenience offered by fixers perpetuates the idea that proper vehicle inspection is not important. That dangerous notion has to stop and that is why PMVIC’s play a crucial role because ours is the industry that sparks and encourages that shift towards a mentality of responsible vehicle ownership. Why impede that?” Tajar ended.
According to Tajar, about 800 PETCs are currently operating in the country.
Photos from Iñigo Larrazabal
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