What you should know about MMDA's no-contact apprehension policy

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Under the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA)'s no-contact apprehension policy, traffic enforcers will take photos of an erring vehicle's plate number and other details instead of flagging down the driver.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said it will begin carrying out its no-contact apprehension policy starting Friday (April 15).

It is a new system where traffic enforcers will take photos of an erring vehicle's plate number and other details instead of flagging down the driver.

Related: HPG to practice 'no-contact' apprehension

Traffic violators will be sent summons to allow them to air their side before a corresponding penalty is decided upon.

They will be given 15 days to contest the violation and they may file an appeal should their protest be denied. Another appeal may be filed before the Office of the Chairman should the first one be denied.

On Thursday (April 14), the MMDA released 11 points motorists should know about the new apprehension system:

1. What is the No Contact Traffic Apprehension Policy?

The No Contact Traffic Apprehension is a policy that utilizes Closed-Circuit TV (CCTV), digital cameras, and/or other gadget or technology to capture videos and images to apprehend vehicles violating traffic laws, rules, and regulations.

2. What is its coverage?

The No Physical Contact Apprehension covers the apprehension of violators in areas within Metro Manila that are covered by MMDA CCTV cameras.

3. Will the policy rid Metro Manila roads of MMDA Traffic Enforcers?

No. It was conceptualized to supplement the presence of MMDA Traffic Enforcers. Aside from the fact that there are still places not covered by CCTVs, the No Contact Traffic Apprehension was designed to catch moving violations, thus leaving the apprehension of administrative offenses to MMDA constables.

4. How will the No Contact Team know about the records of the vehicle?

The MMDA No Contact Apprehension Team will search for the motor vehicle records of violators in coordination with LTO.

5. If I’m the registered owner and the current owner hasn’t processed the vehicle’s transfer of registration yet, will I still be penalized for a violation I did not commit?

The first notice shall require the owner of the vehicle to identify its driver at the time and place indicated in the notice and his/her address. It is the responsibility of the current owner to have the vehicle registered under his/her name. If a previous owner receives the Notice, he or she may file a protest at the MMDA Traffic Adjudication Division and show a notarized Deed of Sale as evidence, as well the name and address of the current owner.

6. How will the MMDA send the Summon to violators?

Notices shall be sent through personal service by MMDA Personnel, registered mail, or courier services through government or private service providers.

7. What if the violator refuses to receive the Notice?

Traffic violators who refuse to receive or accept the notice issued to them without any valid reason shall be deemed to have received it by leaving a copy and submission of an affidavit of service or report attesting the refusal of the violator to acknowledge receipt of the Notice.

8. Within how many days should a driver settle his/her violation under this policy?

Payment of fines and penalties shall be made within seven days upon receipt of the first notice to any authorized accredited payment centers unless a protest is filed before the MMDA TAD, in which case, the fines as finally adjudicated shall be paid at the Collection Division of the MMDA Central Office.

9. Where should I pay to settle my violation?

The violator may pay either in the MMDA Main Office or in any branch of MetroBank.

10. If I don’t agree with the violation given to me, how do I contest it?

The First Notice contains a statement that the traffic violator shall have the right to file a protest before the MMDA-Traffic Adjudication Division or TAD within seven days from receipt of the Notice, and that failure to do so within the prescribed period shall be seen as a waiver of such right to contest the violation or present evidence as a defense.

Within fifteen days from receipt of an adverse TAD resolution, the driver may file a Motion for Reconsideration. Within thirty (30) days from receipt of the denial of the Motion for Reconsideration, the driver may file an appeal at the Office of the Chairman where the Decision shall be final and executory.

If no protest is filed within the 7-day prescriptive period and the fines remain unpaid, a Final Notice to settle the violation shall be issued.

11. What will happen if I don’t pay at all?

If a violator fails to settle the assessed fines or penalties from the receipt of the Final Notice, the vehicle license plate number shall be included in the Alarm list and be reported to the LTO with a request that its registration not be renewed until the penalties or fines are fully settled.

The MMDA also let motorists know that the agency can be contacted via their Twitter page should they have any questions regarding the policy so they could update their list of frequently asked questions.