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Monday, August 30, 2021

PMVICs Do Not Conform To Lawful Intent And Purpose Of Clean Air Act


The Coalition of Clean Air Advocates of the Philippines (CCAAP), a multi-sectoral organization composed of environmental advocates and transport groups, shared what they think is behind the Department of Transportation (DOTr)’s messy implementation of the Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Service or PMVIS.

In a statement sent to us by CCAAP President Herminio “Jojo” Buerano Jr., they believe that the PMVIS in its current form is incomplete simply because it does not conform to the lawful intent and purpose of Republic Act 8749 or the Clean Air Act.

While the DOTr continuously refers to the Clean Air Act to justify the creation of the PMVIS program, it conveniently left out two other agencies that were supposed to help them in setting it up: the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

True enough, Mr. Buerano Jr. sent a copy of the transcript discussing the implementation of the then Motor Vehicle Inspection Service or MVIS. In the bicameral conference committee meeting dated April 27, 1999, it was made clear that the DOTr (then known as the DOTC) would formulate the MVIS system, but the DTI would have been the lead agency.

The minutes of the meeting detailed that it should be the DTI who would handle the “standards for the testing centers, standards and procedures for the certification of training institutions.”

The CCAAP contends that the DTI should have been the lead agency for the PMVIS because the DTI is mandated to promulgate automotive vehicle and parts product standards for environmental and consumer protection, as well as for public health and safety. DENR on other hand, is mandated to promote emission standard and equipment standard for the testing of vehicle emission. Vehicle product standards and emission standard are the platform where inspection standards and procedures are be based.

Furthermore, the current PMVIS under the DOTr does not follow or is not in sync with the Philippine National Standards or PNS. The CCAAP letter says:
To cite a few: (a.) the testing of headlights does not consider whether the headlights is built for right-hand drive or left-hand drive; (b.) the testing of exhaust emission do not consider the presence of emission control devises on engines configured for Euro-4/IV emission compliance; For diesel vehicles the inspection procedure do not consider the required sealing of fuel delivery devises; (c.) noise pollution measurement in the said PMVIC inspection standard does not follow the existing DENR-EMB regulation on allowable noise pollution level; Etcetera.

Our country’s commitment to ASEAN Harmonization of Standards is not also taken into consideration by the said MC 2020-2240 and 2241. The ASEAN Harmonization of Standards is a mandate that DTI should follow and implement.
Moreover, if agencies such as National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) were involved, they would have been able to “know the right test fee based on Philippine economic condition, number and location of centers needed, center’s return of investment, testing duration, treatment of public utilities, legal basis of MVIS privatization, and other relevant issues.”

It must be noted that the current PMVIS exists through a DOTr Department Order (2019-002) which became a sole effort by the DOTr, and not a combined effort of the DOTr, DTI, and DENR.

With that, Mr. Buerano Jr. threw a rhetoric question regarding the convenient sidelining of the DTI and the DENR when it comes to the formulation of the PMVIC:
“Was this intentionally done to better manage and control the program’s direction according to what DOTr solely wants?”
He adds further:
As far as the developments go, DOTr was lambasted because the program was untimely, incomplete, discriminatory, misdirected, and anti-poor. However, it would not become a fiasco if DTI & DENR were involved in a comprehensive “national motor vehicle inspection and maintenance system/ program.”

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