Press Releases

Salceda lauds SC order to halt NCAP; House tax chair pushes for framework for no-contact policy

September 11th, 2022

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) lauded the decision of the Supreme Court, made public today, to temporarily stop the implementation of the no-contact apprehension policy being implemented by various local government units. The High Court issued a temporary restraining order in response to two pending cases questioning the constitutionality of the NCAP.

“There were obvious flaws of legality from the very start. Policing is not something that can be subject to PPP, or can be conducted without informing the citizen of his rights or allowing him or her adequate methods of redress. That violates due process,” Salceda said.

“So, I am grateful to the Supreme Court for their action. This will prevent the policy from doing any harm until we can resolve its legality and constitutionality,” Salceda added.

“We are also studying what we can do to support the petitioners, including possibly an amicus brief. That’s not off the table. I particularly wish to bring to the court’s attention problems with structuring the NCAP within Public-Private Partnerships,” Salceda said.

“While I do not object to PPPs being used to deliver the services in the process of traffic apprehension, identifying the fault of the motorist itself should be within some police or quasi-judicial authority. It cannot be a private party telling government to apprehend this or that motorist, especially if that private party has an interest in getting more violations caught.”

“That’s a very bad incentive, and certainly risks the motorists’ privacy, the right to due process, and the integrity of the use of the police power of the state.”

“I certainly am okay with using PPPs to provide the infrastructure for monitoring, the payments system, and even the methods of appealing. But apprehension, especially the division of fines, is a very bad way to structure a PPP. And a review of PPP Guidelines issued by the DILG and the PPP Center would show that the way NCAP PPPs are structured may not even be legal, without approval from the President,” Salceda said.

Salceda also said that he hopes that the TRO imposed by the Supreme Court will also be used by transport authorities and the DILG as an opportunity to craft the guidelines for NCAP, especially those with private partners.

“I respectfully urge Secretaries [Benhur] Abalos and [Jaime] Bautista to take this halting of the NCAP as an opportunity to guide LGUs on enforcing traffic rules so that their methods do not encroach upon basic rights.”

“I think now is the time to study a framework, and to really consult with all stakeholders, especially transport workers who have no choice but to be on the road every day – despite the risk of getting fined.”

Salceda is also principal author of House Bill No. 3423, which pushes for a Motorists’ Bill of Rights, including the right against arbitrary apprehension and the right to due process in traffic enforcement.

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