LTO hit over no-contact apprehension ‘flip-flop’

Shiela Crisostomo - The Philippine Star
LTO hit over no-contact apprehension âflip-flopâ
File photo of Land Transportation Office.
Philstar.com / Irish Lising

MANILA, Philippines — House ways and means chair and Albay Rep. Joey Salceda yesterday called out the Land Transportation Office (LTO) for its “flip-flopping” on the no-contact apprehension policy (NCAP).

In a statement, Salcedo hit the LTO for “seemingly 180-degree turn from calling for a suspension of NCAP to just letting local government do as they wish with it.

“Some 24 hours ago, LTO was calling for a suspension of the NCAP by arguing that we need guidelines first, before we implement such a drastic and problematic policy change,” Salceda said.

Yesterday, he noted that LTO made a sudden pronouncement that “LGUs can do as they please, and they’ll just craft guidelines, but perhaps these guidelines will be optional.”

“May I remind the LTO that as an attached office of the Department of Transportation, its constituency is the transport sector, which this policy is hurting, and not the local government units,” Salceda added.

No power

LTO Deputy Director Roberto Valera has hit the brakes and said they have no authority to force local government units to suspend the NCAP.

“The position of the LTO is of course to temporarily suspend the NCAP but subject to dialogue of the guidelines. We don’t have the right to stop that. Temporarily, that is our position. But we have no authority to suspend it,” Valera said in mixed Filipino and English.

The LTO has already formed a technical working group to discuss proposals for consideration by the LGUs and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

Assistant Secretary Teofilo Guadiz, LTO chief, said that they are not against the NCAP per se, but they only want an effective, efficient, responsive and fair policy that will benefit the motoring public.

The LTO has yet to clarify if the memorandum signed by Guadiz allowing the registration of vehicles with pending NCAP violations will be fully implemented.

MMDA Chairman Carlo Dimayuga III yesterday said they “fully support” the NCAP.

Mayors stand their ground

Metro Manila mayors implementing the NCAP are standing their ground, saying they will continue its enforcement while continuously improving their traffic infrastructures.

In a joint statement released on Thursday, Mayors Joy Belmonte of Quezon City, Wes Gatchalian of Valenzuela, Eric Olivarez of Parañaque, Honey Lacuña of Manila and Francis Zamora of San Juan insisted on their local governments’ prerogative to pursue policies that they believe would help their city and constituents deal with road transport problems.

“With this in mind, we, the undersigned Local Chief Executives, have joined together on a common stance to continue the implementation of NCAP within our respective territorial jurisdictions and vow to continuously improve infrastructure and road conditions foreseeing the need for a safer environment for our constituents,” the mayors said, adding that the NCAP not only complies with this mandate but also the pursuit of joint ventures and public-private partnerships. –  Romina Cabrera , Ralph Edwin Villanueva, Evelyn Macairan, Neil Jayson Servallos


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