Describing it as “illegal,” a Philippine senator is calling for a full-fledged investigation into the government’s implementation of the controversial Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS), and subsequently its immediate suspension due to the unnecessary financial burden it is causing to millions of motorists.
Sen. Grace Poe, chairman of the public services committee, said she is seeking the aid of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to better determine the propriety of the move by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Land transportation Office (LTO) in delegating to the private sector the mandate given by Congress to inspect motor vehicles to assure the safety of the public.
“There are legal infirmities here for sure, as this was done without seeking the go signal from Congress, which had given them the power to do so in the first place,” she said.
In this regard, Poe said she is calling for the scrapping of the MVIS in its present form as concerned officials cannot justify its conrinued existence not to mention its onerous fees being charged “exacerbate the problems already tomenting Filipino motorists.”
Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon said he is standing squarely behind his colleague’s move to ferret out the myriad problems associated with the MVIS (which he described as “unconstitutional”) that the DOTr and LTO never cared to address in their haste to line their pockets with huge commissions to be made.
For starters, Poe said the DOTr and LTO could not show there was any public bidding carried out, in accordance with law, to determine what company is to be given a contract to operate an accredited motor vehicle inspection center.
This lack of transparency in the selection process, she claimed, provides an “avenue for corruption” among those DOTr and LTO officials responsible for granting the lucky franchisees a surefire contract to make money with the government.
LTO officials disclosed during a hearing there are currently 23 PMVICs now operating, out of the 138 it aims to accredit throughout the country within the next two years.
“Sino ba ang mga ito at pinayagan silang magpatakbo ng private motor vehicle inspection center (PMVIC) na walang ginawang public bidding?” she was quoted in reports as saying. “Kaduda duda.”
Senators Ralph Recto and Koko Pimentel took turns slamming the DOTr and the LTO for the faulty implementation of the MVIS which was done without proper consultation with stakeholders, including the government.
(Malacanang, last week, announced the MVIS to be no longer mandatory for vehicle registration in the Land Transportation Office (LTO) following a sustained outcry regarding its onerousness, not to mention the attendant corruption. But there was totally no mention about it being abolished, probably because of the huge investments already made by the people granted PMVIC deals, as well as the juicy commissions they had advanced.)
Photo: Flow Galindez / BusinessWorld