Unconstitutional Daw ang NCAP?
The Supreme Court has issued a temporary restraining order against the implementation of the no-contact apprehension policy (NCAP), pending the resolution of two petitions filed before the Supreme Court challenging MMDA’s NCAP. The Supreme Court ordered the indefinite suspension of the policy, which had been the object of a public outcry for allegedly being unconstitutional and oppressive.
The TRO also suspends the ordinances of local government units implementing “no-contact apprehension.” The ruling also bars traffic authorities from making apprehensions unless the court orders. Various transport groups like the Kilusan sa Pagbabago ng Industriya ng Transportasyon Inc. (KAPIT), Pangkalahatang Sangguniang Manila and Suburb Drivers Association Nationwide (Pasang-Masda), Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Assocation of the Philippines (ALTODAP), and Alliance of Concerned Transpor Organizations (ACTO) and lawyer Juman Paa filed consolidated petitions questioning the policy.
Paa’s petition stems from his experience of being forced to pay huge fines and penalties for four traffic violations before he could register his vehicle. Paa reportedly paid a fine of P20,000 for alleged traffic violations under the NCAP. The second petition, meanwhile, argued that the policy violates the right to privacy of a motorist. Paa continued that a motorist’s traffic violation records can be accessed in the website by simply typing a plate number. He said this clearly violates RA 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012.
He named the Manila City government and Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan as respondents. Also named as respondents are the Land Transportation Office, Quezon City, Valenzuela, Paranaque, and Muntinlupa City. The respondents were given a non-extensible period of 10 days to respond to the petition.
No Technical Capability
Aside from being unconstitutional, the petitioners also questioned the technical capability of the MMDA. Paa said that the NCAP lacks the technical capability to ensure that notices of violations are received by motorists. In addition, he said that the fines and penalties being imposed by the Manila City government for violations like obstruction of pedestrian lanes are 100 to 300 percent higher than the fines being imposed by MMDA and LTO.
NCAP is Beneficial
Meanwhile, the LGUs that were named as respondents said that no contact apprehension were beneficial for them which is why they continued the implementation despite the TRO.
According to the mayors who implemented the NCAP, the policy helped minimize human intervention in traffic enforcement. The NCAP eliminated corruption, created a culture of discipline among motorists, and reduced traffic violations. Lacuna, on the other hand, said that motorists could always question the fines before the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau. The LGUs involved said that they are going to fix the issues.
Meanwhile, oral arguments for the petitions are set for January 24, 2023.
What can you say about the no contact apprehension policy?
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