House to start probe on no-contact apprehension

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star
House to start probe on no-contact apprehension
A closed-circuit television camera that is part of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s no-contact apprehension system is seen along Quirino Avenue in Manila yesterday.
Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — Investigation into the no-contact apprehension policy (NCAP) is starting to roll at the House of Representatives as the matter has been referred to the committee on transportation.

Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said the issues hounding the NCAP will be taken up by the committee, headed by Rep. Romeo Acop, when it calls for a hearing.

“They will have to listen to many issues and maybe they will invite resource persons, upon the discretion of the chairman. If they will invite the Metro Manila Development Authority and local chief executives, better, so we can ask them directly,” he said in a phone interview.

Barbers said he wants to know the legality of the NCAP being implemented by local executives.

“Who are these people behind the (NCAP) contract? Are they reputable. Second, we have to look into the implementation of the policy, which we say has constitutional issue. Why are you penalizing the registered owner of the car, rather than the one who committed violation or the driver,” he asked.

He also underscored the legality of the “hefty fines” being imposed under NCAP should be looked into.

Pending inquiry, Barbers has urged mayors implementing the NCAP to suspend implementation for the sake of motorists suffering from the program.

The lawmaker said he supports the petition for temporary restraining order filed by transport group Kilusan sa Pagbabago ng Industriya ng Transportasyon Inc. with the Supreme Court (SC).

The group asked the high tribunal to declare NCAP as unconstitutional.

Notice to be served

The SC is set to serve today the notice containing the resolution giving five city governments and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) 10 days to submit their comments on the petition against the NCAP implementation.

An SC official, who requested anonymity, said the Office of the Clerk en banc would personally serve copies of the court’s notice containing the resolution to the respondents named in the petition filed by four transport groups.

The Kilusan sa Pagbabago ng Industriya ng Tranportasyon, Inc., Pasang Masda, Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines and Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization filed the petition on Aug. 3.

The magistrates discussed last Tuesday the petition for certiorari and prohibition with the urgent application for temporary restraining order (TRO).

SC Spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka had earlier said the court had not yet taken any action on the prayer for TRO.

The respondents in the petition were instructed to submit their comments within 10 days from the day they received their copies of the court’s order.

The respondents mentioned in the petition were the cities of Manila, Quezon, Valenzuela, Paranaque, Muntinlupa and the LTO.

Motorists and vehicle owners have also been complaining against the implementation of the NCAP and questioned the wisdom and appropriateness of some of its provisions, as well as the so-called “traps” in road signs and other factors that force motorists to commit violations.

Some legislators have already called for the suspension and thorough review of the traffic policy.

Meanwhile, Muntinlupa City declared that it is yet to implement the NCAP.

Muntinlupa City is among the local government units asked by the SC to comment on the petition.

In a tweet, Muntinlupa City Mayor Ruffy Biazon said that the city “has not yet implemented NCAP.”

However, he said the previous administration under now city Rep. Jaime Fresnedi, entered into the contract. – Evelyn Macairan, Ralph Edwin Villanueva


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