Remember when the Land Transportation Office (LTO) announced that all vehicles must undergo mandatory vehicles inspection at any of the private motor vehicle inspection centers (PMVICs) under the new Geographical Area of Responsibility (GAOR) guidelines?

Well it seems the LTO's parent agency, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has changed its mind: the implementation is again delayed.

In an announcement earlier today DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade ordered the LTO to hold the implementation of the Memorandum MC-SC-2021-02 directing all regional offices to adopt the mandatory PMVIC testing under the GAOR rules.

According to Tugade, there are still issues surrounding MC-SC-2021-02 and has tasked the LTO to conduct an immediate and thorough review of the said policy which they themselves formulated. He also implored the agency to maintain the previous process where motorists can choose between a PMVIC and private emission testing center (PETC) for vehicle inspection.

Tugade did not state the exact issues that surround the implementation of the GAOR policy. It is likely that one of the major issues is about the limited number of current PMVICs available. Earlier this month, the LTO released a list of GAORs for full PMVIC implementation. In Metro Manila alone, there are only 11 PMVICs that can cater to motorists. In other parts of the country that number becomes smaller, depending on the region where the LTO has district offices (DOs) or extension offices (EOs).

Motor vehicle inspection has become a hot issue with motorists that feel they need to subject their vehicles to testing at privatized centers while wondering why dilapidated jeepneys, buses, and trucks still ply the roads. Toss in the initial costs to the public (even at the lower rate), the issues with the actual inspection program, the political climate (elections are coming up), and the current economic situation brought about by the management of the pandemic, then it's not hard to see why the program has met with a lot of resistance.

Since the LTO and DOTr are still ironing out the issues surrounding PMVICs, it might be a while before mandatory inspection becomes a permanent and accepted procedure in vehicle registration.