The Philippines really has no shortage of laws. The real problem is the proper enforcement of said laws.
Here at Autoindustriya, we seek to bring you news pertaining to anything and everything motoring-related, and today we wish to remind you that though they may be few, you’re bound to see more LTO officials out on our streets. Why? Simple: to (finally) enforce existing motoring laws.
Take for example car modifications. Case in point: blinking brake lights. We’ve touched on this particular topic in the past and now, the law is finally cracking down on this said mod, among many others. Vehicles come out of factory with red brake lights standard worldwide. Unless you’re in a Formula One car, then this mod has no place on a daily-driven vehicle. The same rules (and subsequent apprehensions) will be applied to loud exhausts and anything other than factory-spec implements.
"Maraming mga bagay na jurisdiction talaga ng MMDA, pero iyung sa amin tulad ng licenses at pagka-roadworthy ng mga vehicles, iyun ang ginagawa naming [A lot of rules fall under the MMDA’s enforcers, but for licenses and vehicle road-worthiness, that falls on us; that’s what we’re enforcing]," according to the Team Leader.
The LTO are keeping an eye out for both private and public vehicles alike. For the former, violations ranging from the aforementioned blinking taillights to the absence of license plates have already been logged. For the latter, they have already dealt with expired licenses, drivers with no licenses, jeepneys with worn-out tires, and in-line with the PUVMP, the fact that jeepneys have non-working or no hand brake mechanisms at all.
We sought to ask more about the PUVs in this case, and we were informed that indeed, such small things really are in-line with the government’s PUV Modernization Program. Before you come at us with torches and pitchforks, allow us to say that it is the Operators’ responsibility to comply with the laws governing even PUVs. Given no specific / the changing timelines as to when dilapidated PUVs will no longer be allowed, the LTO urges Operators to equip their vehicles with the requirement implements, for the meantime. This will allow their jeepneys to remain on the roads without being apprehended.
Motorcycles, specifically ride-hailing units have likewise been pulled over. There are still some existing issues on the legality of using this mode of transportation, and the LTO logs license plates and license numbers of the riders. This will be for reference as they are currently “not legal”, the Team Leader later added.
“Mahirap din ito, kasi iilan din lang naman kami. Ang problema talaga ay ang enforcement, kaya minsan ay humihingi na din kami ng tulong [What we’re doing is difficult because there aren’t many LTO enforcers. The problem is not the law but its being enforced, that’s why we are also asking for help (from the MMDA)],” said the Team Leader who requested anonymity.
While the MMDA has been at the forefront of (traffic) law enforcement, the LTO given its jurisdiction on licensed (or those driving despite being unlicensed) drivers and the assessment of vehicles’ roadworthiness has apparently been empowered by DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade to set up around the Metro and apprehend erring motorists.
So if you find yourself taking motorcycle passengers via mobile apps, or if you’re an Operator of a PUV fleet, if you have some odd car modification, if your car doesn’t have its license plate, or if you have an expired license, these are just some of the potential violation that you may be hailed for. It’s always better to obey the laws, so if you have nothing to be guilty of, then please do extend courtesy to the enforcers and they will let you off anyway, no further questions asked.