A lawmaker has moved to address the rampant practice of carnap/carjack syndicates of buying from insurance companies totally wrecked cars.

Rep. Roger Mercado (Lone District, Southern Leyte), Chairman of the Committee on Transportation, authored House Bill 4926, which seeks to cancel the registration of totally wrecked vehicles that are covered by an insurance policy.

Mercado said that carnappers nowadays are adopting a scheme by purchasing totally wrecked cars from insurance companies, using the registration details (i.e. vehicle identification numbers, registration papers). Under this scheme, Mercado said car thieves will snatch cars similar in make and model to totally wrecked vehicles, and make it appear that the carnapped vehicle is the one that appears in its registration details.

"This scheme is giving the authorities a hard time apprehending stolen vehicles due to the fact that the legitimate registration of totally wrecked cars covers up the spurious registration of stolen vehicles," Mercado said.

Under the measure, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is mandated to cancel the registration of totally wrecked vehicles that are covered by an insurance policy for its replacement in case of damage or theft. Mercado said the measure does not cover totally wrecked cars which are not covered by an insurance policy.

The insurance company that issues the insurance policy of the totally wrecked vehicle whose registration is due for cancellation is directed to report to the LTO the status of said vehicle.

Under the bill, the reportorial requirements stated in the Act shall not hinder the insurance companies in compensating the owners of totally wrecked vehicles of what is due them in accordance with the insurance policy.

Violators shall be penalized with a fine of P200,000.