Press Releases

Salceda on NCAP: Imposition of fines for traffic violations not PPPable; House tax chair requests PPP Center, DILG to review PPPs on NCAP, calls steep fines on transport workers “confiscatory”

August 13th, 2022

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district), principal author of the Motorists’ Bill of Rights (HB 3227), has asserted that the imposition of fines and penalties by private companies cannot be the subject of Private-Public Partnerships, as they are in the case of several local government units that implement a no-contact-apprehension policy.

“Apprehending traffic violations is the exercise of the police power of the State. That is originally a legislative power, delegated to the executive branch for implementation. But it cannot be delegated further to private companies.”

“The police power involves the power of force, and force is the monopoly of the state. It cannot be the subject of a commercial agreement between the state and the private sector.”

“You can subject the payment system to PPPs. You can buy or rent technology from the private sector that detects potential violations automatically, for review by agents of the state, but you cannot PPP the very act of apprehending potential violators.”

Salceda said that the process “potentially violates the due process clause of the Constitution, especially because LGUs are not mandated by law to have Traffic Adjudication Boards where you can make appeals.”

Salceda adds that public-private partnerships among local governments are “strictly for infrastructure and development facilities” as stated in Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1, s. 2019. Other variations “may be approved by the President of the Philippines,” according to the JMC, but Salceda adds that “the President obviously has not issued any declaration to the effect that law enforcement can be the subject of a PPP.”

“There should also have been extensive consultation before the PPPs were set into motion. That is required under PPP Governing Board Resolution No. 2016-06-02.”

“This is also a dangerous precedent on privacy. Remember, the PPP partner is a private company. If it can exercise the pretense of ‘lawful surveillance,’ that’s a very slippery slope towards other activities that are violative of laws on privacy, by private companies. They can invoke the PPP to monitor anybody’s activities on the road.”

Salceda also warned against a “commercial incentive” to “having more violations” under such PPP agreements.

“There is an inherent conflict of interest in allowing law enforcement to be delegated to private authorities. Common good dictates that there be fewer violations, but the only way a private partner makes money is if there are more violations, no matter how arbitrarily apprehended,” Salceda adds.

On rates of fines, Salceda also reminded LGUs that “the Local Government Code, under Section 130, explicitly dictates that fines cannot be confiscatory, and can only be appropriated or shall inure exclusively to the LGU. PPPs that divide fines among PPP partner and the LGU appears to violate that rule as well.”

“The LGC also asserts that these charges should be according to the capacity to pay. For delivery riders, taxi drivers, and others who make their living on the road, a P5,000 fine is confiscatory, and they probably can’t afford it either. I urge LGUs to have alternative means of meeting such obligations, such as community service, for transport sector workers.”

“Private car owners can choose not to ride a car. But transport sector workers cannot avoid being on the road every day. They will be the most frequent victims of this policy.”

“I urge Secretary Abalos and the PPP Center to review the PPP agreements governing NCAP, because there are striking red flags,” Salceda said.

Salceda also cited a request by the Land Transportation Office to LGUs this week to suspend NCAP until guidelines could be crafted for them.

“Even the LTO wants LGUs to slow down about NCAP for now,” Salceda said.

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