LTO, lawmakers call for suspension of NCAP implementation

LTO, lawmakers call for suspension of NCAP implementation
Motorists drive through various intersections in Cubao, Quezon City on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. The Metro Manila Development Authority is set to upgrade the traffic control system in Metro Manila that operates based on an intersection's volume of vehicles.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Office (LTO) renewed its call for the temporary suspension of the implementation of the No Contact Apprehension Program (NCAP) as they iron out guidelines. 

LTO Chief Teofilo Guadiz III called on the local chief executives of Manila, Quezon City, Parañaque, Valenzuela City, and Muntinlupa to participate in a dialogue with the LTO and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to create a “uniform set of guidelines.” 

“The presence of a uniform, well thought of, and transparent guidelines is very important for the NCAP to work because it will be the public who will suffer if it doesn’t,” Guadiz said.

The LTO chief also said that four transport groups filing a petition with the Supreme Court to suspend the NCAP is a “clear indication that further review of the policy is necessitated.” The groups argued that the policy is unconstitutional and “invalid.” 

The implementation of the NCAP involves the use of CCTV, digital cameras, and other technology to allow traffic enforcers and local government units (LGUs) to monitor and keep track of traffic violations. 

Improve online, road infrastructure

Digital Pinoys, a network of digital advocates, is pushing for the government to digitalize the violation contesting process to allow penalized drivers to challenge the penalty through an online system to save them time.

“We highly encourage the LGUs and the MMDA to institutionalize online violation contesting and adjudication so that apprehended parties that are feeling that they should not have been apprehended will not be inconvenienced further,” Digital Pinoys National Campaigner Ronald Gustillo said in a separate statement.

They also said that the government should work on improving road conditions through providing clear signages and road markings as well as have better traffic lights and road access.

Issues with penalties

Some raised issues concerning drivers that have multiple violations across different jurisdictions and there is confusion on the implementation of fines as sometimes, the operator ends up shouldering the penalty imposed on their drivers. 

There are also reports that erring drivers are charged with excessive penalty fees. Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito in a separate statement said that a lot of riders and drivers are “unjustly fined.”

Rep. Robert Ace Barbers (Surigao del Norte) previously called for transparency on where the fees collected from the drivers will go. 

Meanwhile, Rep. Joey Salceda (Albay) pointed out that there might be inconsistencies between the NCAP and taxation rules, the local government code, public-private partnership guidelines, and the policies of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). 

“I would urge the DILG, the MMDA, and the PPP Center to review the NCAP implementation and their underlying PPP agreements,” Salceda said.

“I would also suggest that, as always, there be extensive stakeholder consultations among LGUs that will consider implementing NCAP. As is, the rule will disproportionately punish transport workers, who cannot avoid being on the road.” — Kaycee Valmonte with reports from Franco Luna


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