SENATOR 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.
“I will be submitting a committee report by next week,” the panel chairperson said. “First of all, the government’s not ready, it’s under very suspicious terms that they approved these centers, and the people will be paying more out of pocket.”
“Hinihiling natin na makinig naman ang mga kinauukulan sa halip na ipagpilitan ang isang bagay na alam naman natin na hindi nila masyadong pinag-isipan kaya tuloy nagiging aberya,” she stressed.
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.
Poe earlier filed a resolution to look into the issues hounding the operation of the Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers (PMVIC), which is being implemented in accordance with the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) Department Order No. 2018-19, LTO’s Memorandum Circular 2018-2518 and other related issuances.
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.
“Gagastos kayo ng P1,500 na dati ay P500 lamang. Ang kaibahan nito, kung P36 ang bawat kilo ng bigas, ‘yung idadagdag ninyo ito sa pambayad dito ay halos 46 na kilong bigas na. Lalung-lalo na sa panahon ngayon sa pandemyang ito, ngayon pa nila tataasan ng ganyang kalaking singil na hindi naman mapupunta sa ating mga kababayan ang pera, pupunta rin ‘yan sa pribadong sektor,” she explained.
Poe said government officials should not be deaf to the pleas of the public for reason and compassion, especially in the midst of a health crisis.
“Maganda ang intensyon ng pagkakaroon ng inspeksyon para sa ating mga sasakyan. Maraming namamatay dahil sa sakuna pero kung talagang maayos ang intensyon niyo, sana inuna niyo ang mga pampublikong sasakyan. At saka sana gawin ninyong bukas ang inyong mga pagdinig at ang inyong pagbibigay ng prangkisa dito sa mga testing centers na ito. Ngayon na naghihirap ang ating mga kababayan, ngayon sana huwag naman ninyong taasan ang singil. Lahat tayo ay may kanya-kanyang hamon,” Poe said.Publication Source : People's Tonight