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The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is looking at allowing private operators to run motor vehicle inspection systems (MVIS) for trucks and buses to hasten implementation of the system.

Transportation Undersecretary for road transport and infrastructure Mark Richmund De Leon, in a recent chance interview with PortCalls, said DOTr will prepare a department order (DO) that will allow private companies, instead of the government, to operate “truck-capable MVIS.”

De Leon noted this is much faster than having the Land Transportation Office do the procurement, which would take time due to the government’s tedious procurement process.

DOTr had earlier issued a DO and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) already authorizing private companies to operate 200 MVIS for small vehicles.

According to De Leon, the planned DO, on the other hand, will cover MVIS for trucks and buses. The transport official did not disclose the number of private operators that will be allowed under the planned DO.

Once the DO is approved, an IRR will be crafted, which De Leon said will only take about a month, before DOTr starts entertaining applicants.

Aside from the private sector-run MVIS, DOTr is also procuring 26 mobile inspection units for its MVIS, the units to be operated by the government.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairman Martin Delgra III, citing LTFRB Memorandum Circular No. 2018-07 in a November 21 press briefing, said that once the government establishes the MVIS, roadworthiness will become the basis for granting the certificate of public convenience (CPC) to public utility vehicles (PUVs), including trucks.

He noted that LTFRB is “veering away from the vehicle age policy, and moving towards roadworthiness” in granting franchises to trucks for hire.

Delgra is also advising truckers to either “substitute” their trucks or make them roadworthy before the MVIS is implemented.

And even after the MVIS is adopted, Delgra said trucks beyond 15 years of age may still be given a CPC if they pass the roadworthiness test.

Teodorico Gervacio, president of Inland Haulers and Truckers Association, earlier said that currently, trucks more than 15 years old can actually renew their franchise, but first they have to “apply for a motion to confirm,” then pass the motor vehicle inspection test. It must be noted that the test is required for all trucks, even those less than 15 years old, wanting to secure a CPC.

Truckers have long argued that roadworthiness, not truck age, should be the basis for the grant of a CPC or franchise. – Roumina Pablo

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