A few months ago, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) released a circular to announce that the steering committee for the Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Center (PMVIC) program is working on establishing guidelines regarding Geographical Areas Of Responsibility (GAOR). This basically orders that the local branches Land Transportation Office (LTO) can only accept vehicle inspection reports -a prerequisite for vehicle registration renewal- from authorized PMVICs already operating in the area.
Needless to say, we've been waiting for an update on that matter, and now the LTO has finally released the specifics of the matter under a Memorandum. In it, the LTO leadership basically gives instructions to their different branches be it a district office (DO) or an extension office (EO).
The Memorandum makes it clear that any LTO DO or EO in the GAOR list will only allow the renewal of a motor vehicle's registration if the MVIR is from a PMVIC within the GAOR. The visual roadworthiness inspection at LTO branches in the list below will also be ceased with the exception being for heavy vehicles (4501 kg GVW or heavier); in this matter, the roadworthiness inspection will be conducted by the LTO and an emissions test from a Private Emission Testing Center (PETC) within the same GAOR will be acceptable.
Listed above are the PMVICs and LTO DOs and EOs within the National Capital Region. What is noteworthy here is that there are only 11 PMVICs for all of NCR. It is unclear whether the 11 are enough, but we'll have to wait and see.
Below is the list for the many regions all around the Philippines with regards to LTO branches and their respective PMVICs.
If your local LTO DO or EO is not listed above, that would likely mean that there is no PMVIC that is operating in the area. There are a few notable absences that we can spot like the province of Palawan and even Davao City.
In that situation, LTO branches will be accepting inspection reports by a PMVIC or have a test done by a PETC. There are also instances where an LTO branch can accept an inspection report from multiple PMVICs if the LTO designates that there is more than one in the GAOR based on the list.
The implementation of the PMVIC program has met with a lot of criticism from motorists. It did not help the program that there were some serious gaps and issues in the inspection and testing parameters like tire production dates. There were also reports of vehicles passing despite having red lights in the front or even a test of an impossibly noisy Land Cruiser; that last one we verified from the owner to be a system glitch that was subsequently corrected.
Nevertheless, the DOTr, LTO, and the PMVICs are working to iron out these issues. We'll see how the program gets on as time progresses.