DOTr Issues Green Light for PMVIC, Vehicle Inspections to Begin July 26
Updated on February 22 2024
Earlier this month, the Department of Transport (DOTr) announced they will re-implement private motor vehicle inspection as a requirement before registering your car with the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
Not only that, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) will only accept reports from PMVICs (Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers) within their respective areas of responsibilities as per the DOTr's GAOR or Geographic Area Of Responsibility guidelines.
With the GAOR in place, it means an inspection report from one province or district would be considered invalid outside those areas. This drew the ire of Senator Ralph Recto, who straight up questioned the legality of PMVIS' revival. Recto even wants answers from the DOTr and LTO to explain why they want to re-implement the system and its grounds for its return.
“If a car owner will opt for an inspection done by the LTO, are the facilities of the latter adequate? Is this option available all the time, so they will not be shepherded to private testing centers?” asked the senator.
It wasn't that long ago when senators called for the suspension of PMVIS due to the current situation. However, Recto says this matter has “mutated” into something else. At the same time, Recto wants assurance from the LTO and DOTr that GAOR will not result in long cues and backlogs from the inspection centers. The senator also wants a breakdown of the inspection cost and the process.
DOTr Confirms Legality of PMVIC
The government, specifically the DOTr, has since responded to Senator Recto's concerns while resurrecting the legality of its Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Center (PMVIC) program.
Starting July 26, 2021, all motor cars (except Heavy Vehicles or those with a GVH or Gross Vehicle Weight of 4,500 kilograms or more) should be inspected for roadworthiness and safety by PMVICs before renewing vehicle registrations with the LTO.
According to Artemio Tuazon Jr., DOTr Undersecretary for Administrative Service and chairman of the PMVIC Steering Committee, reviving the PMVIC program is a commitment by the DOTr to ensure all vehicles plying Philippine roads meet the safety standards for transporting people, baggage, and cargo.
Furthermore, the DOTr issued a statement regarding the concerns raised by Senator Recto. Here's what they had to say:
"We most welcome and acknowledge the recent statement of the honorable Senator Ralph Recto regarding the Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Center (PMVIC) Program.
In the legal opinion of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) dated 18 March 2021, OSG said that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) have authority to ensure the roadworthiness of vehicles and consequently implement the motor vehicle inspection system (MVIS).
OSG then clarified that the DOTr is not delegating an already delegated authority to the private sector. Rather DOTr and LTO are seeking the assistance of the private sector in the implementation of the MVIS, and that the government remains responsible for roadworthiness testing. According to OSG, the MVIS is only outsourced, operated under a private sector participation agreement, but the government still has direct control and supervision of the roadworthiness testing and motor vehicle registration.
In this desire to improve, enhance and cultivate a culture of discipline, responsibility and awareness amongst the stakeholders, we want to assure the honorable Senator Recto that we are with him in rallying our people to what is right, and not necessarily what is popular, in upholding our nation’s best interest.
We appreciate the concerns raised by the good Senator on the legality of the PMVIC, and the necessity to adopt this comprehensive vehicle roadworthiness inspection system."
PMVIC: Good or Bad?
But the question is this, should the government bring back PMVIS? Let's weigh the pros and cons.
Before you say there is no need for this sort of system, you must take a look at the way things are in other countries. In some parts of the world, it is required for a vehicle to undergo a stringent inspection before it is even allowed to renew its registration. In England, it's called an MoT (Ministry of Transport) Test, Japan has the Shaken, while the Germans have TÜV.
These tests inspect everything from the vehicle's body, the underchassis, and even the lights. The tires and brakes also given a thorough check to ensure everyone's safety. If you've complained about not seeing someone because of busted lights or been hit by someone because “nawalan ng preno”, this inspection should quell cases of that.
Having a comprehensive vehicle inspection system in the country is a worthy cause. But why are there those against it? The inspection isn't exactly light on the motorist's pocket. The initial cost of this was PHP 1,680 for light vehicles, and if it fails, it's a retesting fee of PHP 900. Then there's the matter of charging private motorists first over PUVs. This was one of the reasons why many were up in arms. Not only that, the inspection for those vehicles were far less stricter than the one for private vehicles.
But aside from the additional expenses, having PMVIS also lengthens the renewal process. After all, it is an extra step to the procedure. Money might not be an issue for some, but time is, arguably, more valuable.
Is PMVIC Beneficial to Pinoy Motorists?
We all want better driving conditions and level up our motoring experience in the country. It does come at a price, and the results of that won't be immediately effective.
You also have to factor in the fact that we live in extraordinary times where every centavo counts and every minute spent outside could be the difference between health and illness.
On the upside, the DOTr stressed that the cost of the PMVIC package is included in the emissions testing procedure as mandated under the Philippine Clean Air Act. In addition, passing emissions testing and visual inspection are the only requirements to successfully renew your vehicle's registration. All other tests are deemed "recommendary" by the DOTr, for now.
But we want to hear from you. Do you think the government should re-implement the PMVIS? Will this elevate motoring in the Philippines or do you see it as a financial burden?