The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) are being called upon to suspend the yearend emission test requirement for motor vehicle registration as the fight against the coronavirus disease pandemic continues in the country.
Even if the LTO has already continued their operations under general community quarantine; the backlog the agency faces seems to be very challenging to control.
Emission testing centers, in such instance, have reportedly seen car owners arrive in droves which has resulted to long queues. As according to Cagayan de Oro 2nd District representative Rufus Rodriguez, have caused violations of social-distancing protocols.
Before the offices have issued the resumption of their operations, those planning to have their vehicle registrations renewed have already done so.
However, it may still take hours before their numbers are called to be scheduled appointments for emissions testing; this might be days or weeks away.
House Resolution No. 1007 (Suspension of Emission Test Requirement)
Due to this, House Resolution No. 1007 has been issued by the congressman as to suspend the yearend emission test requirement for motor vehicle registration until the end of this year 2020. Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep.
Rufus Rodriguez, author of the said bill, voices his concerns towards the House of Representative; expressing its collective sense for the suspension of the yearend emission test requirement.
Rodriguez expressed that the COVID-19 pandemic “has affected and disrupted the lives of all Filipinos, including more than 11 million who own motor vehicles.” Adding to that, that due to the lockdowns most government transactions were suspended and postponed.
As a result of lockdowns and quarantines in many parts of the country, most transactions with the government were halted, such as the registration of vehicles.”
It will never be okay to trade health and safety for minimal government transactions. This is why the lawmaker calls upon the agencies involved to suspend the yearend emission test requirement.
Long Lines and Delays
It’s not unknown for all Filipinos how frustrating it is to transact with the LTO. Moreover, it’s never a good time to do so no matter what time of the day it is.
Rodriguez used Cagayan de Oro city as an example to further explain the gravity of the situation. He claimed that this leads to long lines and delay; which violate social distancing protocols that may potentially increase transmission of the disease.
An example is Cagayan de Oro City where complaints have been piling up because what is happening is that owners of motor vehicles have to line up very early in the morning in order to get a number which they get after lining up for four to five hours and then they wait until their number is called and they will be given an appointment for their emission test which is at least two weeks away.”
At the same time, he calls for the suspension of yearend emission test; emphasizing the need for better service for taxpayers.
To address this and to make it easier for vehicle owners, the Department of Transportation and the Land Transportation Office could suspend the emissions testing requirement until the end of the year.”
In addition to that, Rodriguez said that it’ll be a lot inconvenient to people, specifically motorcycle owners; not only would they need to accept the long lines and queues, they’ll also expose themselves to the virus.
It’s a lot of inconvenience on the part of motor vehicle owners, to say the least. These taxpayers deserve better service.”
He even said that some LTO offices have had to reinforce lock down measures again due to some workers getting infected with coronavirus upon resumption of operations.
Complaints Against Impropriety
Rodriguez said that the suspension of the yearend emission test requirement would provide both the DOTr and the LTO time to address the complaints and allegations of impropriety against private emission testing centers in the country.
Section 22 of Republic Act No. 8749 or the “Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999” states that “no motor vehicle registration shall be issued unless such motor vehicle passes the emission testing requirement promulgated in accordance with this Act.”
Therefore, because the emission test requirement is seeing suspension, motorcycle vehicle registration might be postponed and suspended.
In your opinion, is suspending the yearend emission test requirement for motor vehicle registration justifiable and valid? Could the Philippine government have thought of a better way in handling and in approaching this?
What are your thoughts upon the issue or the call of the lawmaker?