The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has already resumed operations under general community quarantine, but it seems that the backlog caused by the agency’s shutdown has been difficult to manage. Emission testing centers, in particular, have reportedly seen car owners arrive in droves. This has resulted in long lines which, according to Cagayan de Oro 2nd District representative Rufus Rodriguez, lead to violations of social-distancing protocols.
Because of this, the congressman has filed House Resolution No. 1007, which aims to suspend the emission testing requirement for motor vehicle registration until the end of 2020. According to an Inquirer report, Rodriguez cited the “very long lines and unusual delays in the process of registration, especially in emission testing centers” as the reason behind the resolution.
“An example is Cagayan de Oro City where complaints have been piling up because what is happening is that owners of motor vehicles have to line up very early in the morning in order to get a number which they get after lining up for four to five hours and then they wait until their number is called and they will be given an appointment for their emission test which is at least two weeks away,” Rodriguez said.
If you have recently renewed your vehicles’ registration with the Land Transportation Office (LTO), you’ll know how long the lines are at LTO offices across the country. Even before the offices open, those planning to have their vehicle registrations renewed are already. Even then, it can still take hours before their numbers are called to be scheduled appointments for emissions testing, which might be days or weeks away.
To help the public with this issue, one congressman wants to temporarily suspend the emissions testing requirement for registering motor vehicles. Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City is urging both the Department of Transportation (DoTr) and the LTO to suspend the requirement for emissions testing until the end of the year. He even filed Resolution No. 1007, which “calls on the House of Representatives to express its collective sense for the suspension of the requirement”.
Due to the quarantine restrictions, it is only now that vehicle owners can have their vehicles registered. As a result, it is causing long lines and even unusual delays, especially at emissions testing centers. Rodriguez cites that even 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,” Rodriguez said.
Aside from the hassle, Rodriguez says that long queues and delays can lead to violation of social distancing protocols among registrants and even LTO personnel. This could then possibly cause more cases of COVID-19 spreading as some LTO offices. He even adds that some LTO offices have already had to undergo lockdown as employees were infected by COVID-19.
“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,” he adds.
On top of making life easier for vehicle owners, the congressman adds the suspension of emissions testing will allow the agency to look into complaints and allegations against privately-owned testing centers across the country.
Given the crisis the country is currently facing, suspending emissions testing will surely help vehicle owners in registration. That way, they no longer have to line up early in the morning and waste an entire day just to schedule emissions testing.