SEN. Grace Poe said the Senate committee on public services will push ahead with its report next week on the Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers (PMVICs) as legal questions remain on the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) delegation of the testing to private entities.

Poe also announced that the committee which she heads will also recommend an investigation by the blue ribbon committee on the deals entered into by the DOTr with the private inspection centers.

“Iyong magiging recommendation namin unang-una ay kung meron ba talagang legal na batayan iyong privatization ng MVIS (Motor Vehicle Inspection System). Ito ba ay naayon sa private emission testing centers under the Clean Air Act. Kailangan pag-aralan nang mabuti ng Kongreso at ayusin at linawin ang batas,” she said in an interview Saturday.

“Magrerekomenda rin kami na ang Senate blue ribbon committee ay dapat imbestigahan ang mga transaksyon na kaduda-duda dito sa mga Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers, kung sino ba sila at para payagan na walang bidding–ito ay maanomalya sa simula pa lamang,” she explained.

During last week’s public hearing, Poe and several senators questioned the order of the DOTr to require additional vehicle testing to be done by private centers prior to registration. This will make motorists shell out extra P1,500 on top of the usual registration fee, which Poe said was ill-timed amid the pandemic.

The senator stressed she supports initiatives aimed at ensuring the safety of motorists, but said these should be carried out according to the mandate of the law.

Vehicle inspection is a task mandated of the DOTr and passing it on to the private sector may have legal infirmities, Poe said.

Poe said it remains the duty of the Senate panel to pursue its recommendations to straighten out questions and controversies on the PMVICs.

“Kasama sa trabaho namin ‘yung pagtingin sa legalidad ng batas, kung ang isang ahensya ba ay sumusunod dito o hindi,” she said.

“Katanungan din dito kung papaano niyo nabigyan ng lisensya ang isang kumpanya para mag-operate nito?” she added.

Poe noted that the government will earn a measly P100,000 per year from the private centers, but which in turn, are expected to rake in P6 billion to P8 billion from the motorists’ fees.

The senator also reiterated the private testing centers were selected without public bidding.

“Sabihin na natin na maayos naman ang mga taong ito, bakit hindi idinaan sa tamang bidding? Hindi pa rin legal ang pagpili sa kanila, kaya ‘yun ang nagiging problema,” Poe said.

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