Several senators – including Imee Marcos, Joel Villanueva and Koko Pimentel – are demanding an immediate stop to the Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS) of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) which is a “massive source of corruption.”
This dovetails with the astonishing revelation of Sen. Ralph Recto that LTO-accredited private firms involved with the MVIS generate about P8 billion annually.
(The LTO is an office under the Department of Transportation that is headed by Sec. Art Tugade.)
“The MVIS creates a lucrative downstream industry (that corrupt LTO people take advantage of),” Recto said in calling for the suspension of the MVIS which he described as an additional burden to motorists.
In a bid for transparency, Sen. Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public services, said she is directing the LTO to submit the names of the operators of accredited private motor vehicle inspection centers (which pay a minimal annual franchise fee of P100,000) in light of reports most are owned by politicians and factotums of the current administration.
Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon noted numerous legal and constitutional violations committed by the DOTr and LTO in implementing the MVIS through privately-owned companies.
Drilon said the DOTr and LTO are prohibited from unilaterally delegating the powers granted to them by Congress to regulate motor vehicle safety.
He added that the authority granted to the DOTr and LTO to inspect motor vehicles and charge motorists for such is a police power that cannot be transferred and can only be exercised based on specific stipulations of Congress.
Leaders of the House of Representatives, meanwhile, said they are supporting the calls by their colleagues in the Senate to suspend the “patently illegal” privatized motor vehicle inspection system.
Samar Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento, the House committee on transportation chairman, said a resolution for this purpose is being finalized.
In unilaterally imposing the MVIS, he said the DOTr and LTO failed to get approval from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) in setting fees for millions of car owners which could impact directly on the country’s economy.
(Per the latest word from Malacanang, President Duterte had ordered the DOTr and LTO to suspend the corruption-prone MVIS in response to mounting complaints from the public. According to the Palace spokesman, the MVIS no longer mandatory which means no additional collections from car owners will be made in the registration process.)