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Nationwide round-up (02/11/21)

Private motor vehicle inspection centers to lower fees

PRIVATE motor vehicle inspection centers have agreed to lower their fees to the same rates offered by private emission testing centers (PETCs), the Transportation department said Thursday. “Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Center (PMVIC) owners have decided to heed the appeal of Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade to lower the current PMVIC inspection fee, level it with the current fee of PETCs while there is a pandemic, and waive for one year the reinspection fee for private and public utility vehicles,” the department said in a statement. Private motor vehicle inspection centers were charging P1,500 to P1,800 per vehicle. “The testing fee will be lowered to P600 for private vehicles,” the department noted. “Nonetheless, the process will still cover all 73 inspection items, including smoke emission, for a comprehensive test of a vehicle’s roadworthiness,” it added. The inspection fee for motorcycles will likewise be reduced to P500 and P300 for public utility jeepneys.

Also on Thursday, President Rodrigo R. Duterte ordered a recall of the new policy requiring vehicles to undergo inspection from PMVICs for the annual renewal of registration, according to the his spokesperson. “MVIS (Motor Vehicle Inspection System) is no longer mandatory. This means that there should be no new or additional fee for the registration of vehicles,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry L. Roque, Jr. said in Filipino during a televised briefing. “This means no new fee, no additional fees for registering cars,” he added. Mr. Roque said the President cited the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and rising costs in issuing the directive. — Arjay L. Balinbin and Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

Duterte orders deferment of child car seat law

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has ordered the deferment of the implementation of Republic Act No. 11229 or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act, according to the presidential palace. “Our president has decided. He has decided to postpone or defer the implementation of the child car seats [law],” Presidential spokesman Harry L. Roque, Jr. said in a televised press briefing. He added that the postponement should also serve as a “basis” to amend the law. RA No. 11229, which went into effect on February 2, bans children up to 12 years old and who are below 4’11” from sitting in the front seat of a vehicle. They are required to sit at the back using a restraint system appropriate for their weight, height, and age. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

High court approves COVID-19 vaccine purchase for judiciary

THE Supreme Court has approved the use of funds to buy coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines for the entire judiciary. In a statement on Thursday, the high court said the green light was given during an en banc session on January 26. About 30,000 justices, judges, officials, and employees of the judicial branch of government are expected to get the vaccine. About P19 million will be allocated for the vaccines to be sourced from the high court’s savings fund, Presidential Electoral Tribunal, Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, Court of Tax Appeals, and the lower courts. Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta has expressed readiness to set an example by being vaccinated first “if there are no restrictions as determined by his doctors,” Supreme Court Public Information Officer Chief Brian Keith F. Hosaka told reporters via Viber. “CJ Peralta has always believed in ‘leadership by example’,” Mr. Hosaka said. The judiciary will coordinate with the national task force against COVID-19 and the Department of Health (DoH) for the vaccine procurement as required under protocols. The vaccine brand and vaccination sites are yet to be determined. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago

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