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Solon: Heed call to suspend rollout of private testing centers

Republika

Sen. Grace Poe announced that the Senate committee on public services will release its report next week formalizing the recommendation to defer the implementation of the policy requiring vehicles to undergo testing under few select private centers prior to registration.


Poe said pushing ahead with the testing could prompt individuals or groups to seek legal remedies which may cite the Senate panel’s recommendations for suspension.


Based on the Feb. 9 hearing, she emphasized that legal questions may arise from the DOTr’s delegation of the testing to private centers.


“There’s really no legal basis for the DOTr to delegate a power that’s been given to them. Meaning, they have the power to do the testing, but for them to delegate it to a private company or individual, there is a legal concern regarding that, so it can definitely be challenged,” Poe said.


The senator also said the public services panel has asked for the identities of the 23 private centers accredited by the DOTr to do the testing even without public bidding. In the selection of the centers, Poe noted that the department took out the provision prohibiting families and relatives of officials from participating.


“All they did was put that those in the accrediting committee may not participate, meaning, you can still be a relative of an officer of the DOTr or the LTO (Land Transportation Office), or you yourself in the DOTr or LTO, as long as you’re not in the selection of accrediting committee, you may actually own a private motor vehicle inspection center,” she explained.


Poe reiterated the exorbitant fees being imposed in the new testing will also be too burdensome for the public still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic. This, as the private centers are expected to rake in at least P6 billion to P8 billion pesos from the fees.


Meanwhile, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto shoots down claim that PMVIC is magic pill that will stop all road mishaps
It is “wrong and misleading” to attribute all road accidents to poorly maintained vehicles, Recto said.


“Maraming aksidente na ang dahilan, madilim at walang ilaw na kalsada, nakakalitong traffic signs, pangit na daan, road barriers na mali ang pagkalagay, at walang ligtas na pedestrian lane o overpass,” Recto said.


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