As the Department of Transportation (DOTr), through the Land Transportation Office (LTO), is mandated to enforce rules that make sure that every motor vehicle that will be registered is road worthy, the agencies take great effort to fulfill this mandate.
Unsafe vehicles on the road can kill as poorly maintained vehicles can experience mechanical failures that may end in a terrible road crash.
Data from the MMDA-TEC- Road Safety Unit MMARAS Annual Report 2019 show that there was a total of 121, 771 road crashes in Metro Manila for the year, with an average of 334 cases per day. Of this figure, 372 ended in deaths while 20,466 victims suffered from non-fatal injuries and 100,933 resulted to damage to property.
“We want to prevent the unnecessary loss of lives and property along our roads, dahil ang road crash, hindi namimili ng panahon—- may pandemya man o wala. Hindi ito namimili ng biktima--mayaman man o mahirap, we can all fall victims to this 'epidemic on wheels.' Kaya 'ho dapat lamang na i-address na natin ito. Ito na ang panahon upang magkaroon tayo ng mas maayos at dekalidad na sistema. We have to recover and thrive amid the pandemic, and in the face of this epidemic called road crash,” Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said.
Automated and more rigorous motor vehicle inspection
One such measure requires that every vehicle for renewal of registration with the LTO pass a series of rigorous and automated tests for roadworthiness and compliance to the Clean Air Act, to be conducted by Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers (MVICs).
Under the new MVICs, vehicles to be registered must pass a stringent 73-point inspection system to be conducted in three (3) stages with the use of state-of-the-art equipment that sends, automatically and in real-time, the results to the LTO’s IT system. In the old LTO system, the roadworthiness test is done through visual and manual inspection since the equipment are already worn-out and obsolete.
While the old MVICs rely on manual visual inspection, vehicles to be registered now with the LTO will be tested using minimal human intervention since these are already automated.
In the first stage, the vehicle will be inspected in 66 points (inside, outside and on top of the vehicle are inspected). Tests using automated equipment is 6 points.
The vehicle will also be tested for smoke emission using a state-of-the-art equipment. Prior to the operation of MVICs, vehicles to be registered with the LTO need only to pass a smoke emission test given by a Private Emission Testing Center (PETC).
In the second stage of the automated system, the vehicle will be tested for tire alignment, suspension, and brakes. The reaction of the speedometer will also be inspected.
In the third stage, the vehicle’s sound level and headlights will be tested.
Unlike in the old MVICs, all vehicles, including those “for hire,” private, and those being used by government agencies and by diplomats, may be tested at the new MVICs. Also subject to inspection are motorcycles and jeepneys.
Although the cost of having a vehicle inspected at a MVIC may seem expensive as compared to that of a PETC’s, the cost is justified as it covers 68 inspection points, a more comprehensive, thorough, and corrupt-free inspection of the vehicle, compared to the usual emission test.
MVIC inspection cost for a motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 4,500 kilograms is between P1,500 to P1,800 with a re-inspection fee set at P750 should the vehicle fail the first tests. Inspection fee for motorcycle and tricycles are set at P600 with the re-inspection fee at P300. The inspection fee meanwhile for jeepneys is set at P300 with the re-inspection fee at P150.
The inspection fees for the new MVIC are based on the reasonable return of investment (ROI) considering that the authority to operate is 5 years, and the fees are relatively lower compared to other Asian countries.
While the government had previously operated a 12-lane MVIC in 1992 at the LTO East Avenue office in Quezon City in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the pilot MVIC that was used to evaluate taxi units, soon fell into disrepair with its testing equipment suffered from a lack of budget for maintenance and calibration, and needed spare parts.
In 2007, MVIS North, located along East Avenue, was rehabilitated with government funds. However, in the 2012 Report of the Commission on Audit (COA), the COA said that regular maintenance and calibration of MVIS testing equipment was not carried out due to lack of funds which led to their being completely worn-out and damaged. Over time without proper maintenance, these were overtaken by obsolescence.
Further, when the Duterte Administration came, the MVIS parts were in a crate. These were not used and were gathering rust.
Realizing the need to continue the operation of an MVIC, it was then proposed that the private sector be tapped to participate in the project to establish MVICs in key areas of the country. That proposal is now slowly being realized with the establishment of authorized private MVICs in various parts of the country to ensure safety of lives and property along our country's roads.
“Tandaan ninyo-- ang pagmamay-ari ng sasakyan ay may kasamang responsibilidad. Kasama d'yan ang pagsiguro na ligtas ang inyong minamaneho. At siguro 'ho ang mas magandang tanong, "May katumbas bang presyo ang buhay mo at ng mga anak mo?,” Secretary Tugade added.
09 February 2021