Vehicle inspection, roadworthiness check centers to charge lower fees

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 11) — Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers or PMVICs will cut down its fees following a directive from President Rodrigo Duterte.

In an agency briefing on Thursday, Transport Assistant Secretary Giovanni Lopez announced PMVIC owners have agreed to charging similar fees as Private Emission Testing Centers or PETCs do. This comes after Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed Duterte's decision, which does away with making the new motor vehicle inspection system mandatory.

"Ibig sabihin kinakailangan wala pong bagong singil, walang karagdagang singil para sa pagpaparehistro ng mga sasakyan," Roque said during his virtual briefing. "Ito po'ng naging desisyon ng Presidente, kung saan binalanse ng Pangulo ang pinagdadaanan ng ating mga kababayan sa gitna ng krisis na nararanasan hindi lang po ng Pilipinas kung hindi ng buong mundo."

[Translation: This means there should be no new, additional charges for vehicle registration. This has been the President's decision, where he balanced the plight of our fellow citizens amid a crisis gone through not only by the Philippines but the entire world.]

Given this, PMVICs will now be charging light vehicles ₱600, motorcycles ₱500, and jeepneys ₱300 for inspection. Prior to Duterte's order, fees ranged from ₱600 to ₱1,800, with additional fees for reinspection. In a separate statement, the DOTr said PMVIC owners also agreed to waive the retest fee for one year as the public continues to reel from the pandemic.

While vehicle owners may visit both PMVICs and PETCs for registration requirements, Land Transportation Office chief Edgar Galvante clarified they are not interchangeable. The former, he explained, fully inspects vehicles for roadworthiness while the latter only checks car emissions.

Also during the briefing, Vehicle Inspection Center Operators Association of the Philippines (VICOAP) President Iñigo Larrazabal admitted that the losses from the lower inspection fees are "considerable," but they trust the leadership of the current administration.

Transport authorities said they will be studying providing the centers possible cash assistance given the losses, but the LTO noted it doesn't have the means to do so at the moment.

However, VICOAP said it will not be seeking "a single peso" from the government to help make up for losses in light of cheaper inspection rates, emphasizing the state is also struggling financially.