Earlier this August, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) ordered the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to suspend the mandatory vehicle inspection at private motor vehicle inspection centers (PMVICs).

According to DOTr Secretary Tugade, there are still many issues surrounding the program they implemented, and has tasked the LTO to review it. So for the time being, motorists can continue to choose between having their vehicles inspected by a PMVIC or by a private emission testing center (PETC).

Fast forward to the present day, and the LTO has clarified that the mandatory vehicle inspection at PMVICs remains suspended. This was confirmed by LTO Chief, Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante in response after Senator Grace Poe received information that some PMVICs in several provinces have resumed the mandatory inspection despite the suspension order.

LTO: Inspection at PMVIC still optional image

Galvante also wanted to clarify that despite the suspension order on mandatory inspections, PMVICs can still operate.

Hindi naman na-suspend ang operation ng PMVICs. They can still operate. Ang na-suspend lamang ay iyong mandatory inspection sa PMVICs, at implementation ng GAORs. Ibig sabihin, sa mga lugar kung saan may mga PMVIC, malaya pa ring makapamimili ang tao kung sa PMVIC o PETC magpapa-inspect ng sasakyan bago magpa-rehistro,” said Galvante.

[The operation of PMVICs was not suspended. They can still operate. What has only been suspended is the mandatory inspection of PMVICs, and implementation of GAORs. This means that in areas where there are PMVICs, people are still free to choose between PMVIC or PETC before registering]

Galvante believes that some motorists might have misinterpreted the LTO's rollout of a new online system that can link PMVICs with LTO offices as the return of the mandatory inspection. He said that the new system is actually aimed at optimizing the agency's Motor Vehicle Inspection and Registration System (MVIRS).

LTO: Inspection at PMVIC still optional image

He explained that the new online system called Land Transportation Management Systems (LTMS) not only intends to optimize the use of MVIRS, but it also aims to gather sufficient data to assess the status of motor vehicles in the country in terms of roadworthiness and safety.

“In the inspection and registration of motor vehicles in areas where there is a complete roll-out of the LTMS MVIRS, results from PMVICs will be utilized. The results gathered from the PMVICs shall be used as a baseline data to ensure that the system will be able to ensure the roadworthiness of vehicles plying our roads, thereby improving the road safety standards of the Philippines,” shared Galvante.

As to when the mandatory PMVIC inspection will be rolled out, Galvante said that they are still gathering data to support an evaluation of the GAORs implementation that was also ordered suspended. You can check out the full list of GAORs the LTO compiled here.

With the LTO and DOTr still ironing out PMVIC-related issues, it could take a while before mandatory inspection becomes a permanent and accepted procedure in registering a vehicle.