The Supreme Court of the Philippines has just released a statement: they have issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the controversial No Contact Apprehension Program (NCAP) being implemented by various local government units.

The statement from the Supreme Court says that during their session earlier today, they acted on two complaints filed against the NCAP programs of the City of Manila. After their session, they decided to issue the TRO “effective immediately and until further orders from the Court”.

Interestingly, the TRO on NCAP appears to expand beyond just the program of the City of Manila. The wording seems to indicate that the implementation of NCAP programs is being suspended and that any apprehensions via NCAP programs and city ordinances shall be prohibited until the Supreme Court makes a decision. The LTO has also been directed to withhold motorist information from all cities and municipalities implementing the NCAP.

Supreme Court issues TRO against NCAP image

As you may well know, Valenzuela, Quezon City, Manila, San Juan and Paranaque have NCAPs. Bataan also has an NCAP, along with the MMDA which is implementing an NCAP system along EDSA. We have to wait for confirmation if the SC did mean all NCAPs are covered, though that appears to be the case based on the wording of the statement from the SC's Public Information Office. 

In the last few weeks, NCAP programs have been a hot topic in motoring circles as reports of odd apprehensions and violations have been taking place. There has been a massive uproar from the motorists over the issue, as many see it as a form of “unli-huli” that is disconnected from the realities on the ground like the painted bike lanes that have effectively split a lane meant for a car.

The Supreme Court has set oral arguments for and against NCAP on the 24th of January, 2023; that's a little under 4 months from today. The interesting bit is that the SC will be creating a microsite so motorists and the general public can stay up to date on the status of the case of NCAP.

Needless to say, we'll be keeping our eyes peeled for new developments regarding this.