Solon seeks suspension of emission testing in vehicle registration

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A ranking lawmaker has sought the suspension of emission testing in motor vehicle registration in the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez has filed a resolution earlier this week urging the LTO and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to suspend such requirement until December this year while the nation faces coronavirus pandemic.

Rodriguez explained that the pandemic “has affected and disrupted the lives of all Filipinos, including more than 11 million who own motor vehicles.”

“As a result of lockdowns and quarantines in many parts of the country, most transactions with the government were halted, such as the registration of vehicles,” read House Resolution No. 1007.

The veteran lawmaker stressed that with the easing of quarantines and travel restrictions, many vehicle owners “are now having their vehicles registered, resulting in very long lines and unusual delays in the process of registration, especially in emission testing centers.”

He revealed that in Cagayan de Oro City, registration applicants “have to line up very early in the morning to get a number, which takes four to five hours, then they wait until their numbers are called to be given an appointment for their emission test, which is at least two weeks away.”

“It’s a lot of inconvenience on the part of motor vehicle owners, to say the least. These taxpayers deserve better service,” lamented the chairman of House constitutional amendments committee.

Rodriguez said the long queues and delays result in violations of social distancing protocols among registrants and LTO personnel, which could eventually lead to a possible increase in Covid-19 cases.

He noted that some LTO offices have had to lock down because some workers got infected with coronavirus.

“To address this problem and to make registration easier for vehicle owners, the DoTr and the LTO should suspend the emission testing requirement until Dec. 31, 2020,” Rodriguez said.

This will also give the two agencies time “to look into numerous complaints and allegations impropriety against these privately-owned testing centers all over the country,” he added.

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