Press Releases

Salceda slams LTO for “flip-flopping” on NCAP suspension request; Albay solon says LTO should “do its mandate” and advocate for motorists, not LGUs

August 18th, 2022

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) called out the Land Transportation Office for its “seemingly 180-degree turn from calling for a suspension of the no-contact apprehension policy (NCAP) to just letting LGUs do as they wish with it.”

“Some 24 hours ago, the Land Transportation Office 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.

“Today, suddenly, the LTO says, LGUs can do as they please, and they will just craft guidelines, but perhaps these guidelines will be optional.”

Salceda was referring to the statement of LTO Chief Assistant Secretary Teofilo Guadiz III that the NCAP was “proprietary to LGU as an autonomous body,” and that from a call to suspend the NCAP, the LTO seems to have softened its position to being “willing to engage and discuss matters with the LGUs and the MMDA to anticipate and iron out possible kinks or loopholes in the policy.”

“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 said.

“And besides, to say that the question is a matter of LGU jurisdiction is a gross simplification of the problems behind NCAP. Number one, some LGUs delegate the duty to a third-party from the private sector. There are serious questions of legality and constitutionality in that regard, especially since traffic apprehension is a penalty, not a service that can be delegated via public-private partnership.”

“Second, there remains the issue of whether the penalties under NCAP, especially absent a clear and simple adjudication process, are not confiscatory. To a transport sector worker who doesn’t earn much from being on the road every day, but is at greatest risk of this, it certainly looks confiscatory.”

“Third, the NCAP imposes duties for which there are not yet any equivalent rights articulated. Is there a right to dispute? A right to a clear apprehension? A procedure for appealing the penalty on account of capacity to pay? There are none.”

“So, please, don’t tell me that the simple answer is, it’s LGU’s turf. There are serious questions of constitutionality and legality here that are well within the scope and authority of national policy.”

Salceda added that, on top of his House Bill No. 3423, which enshrines a bill of rights for motorists to protect them from being infringed upon by policies such as NCAP, he will be filing a resolution with the Committee on Transportation and the Committee on Local Government calling for hearings in aid of legislation to determine the legality of PPPs on NCAP.

“I hope the LTO will stick it out for its core constituency in the process of crafting guidelines for NCAP. Its recent statements erode the confidence of ordinary motorists that they will be fair and will protect motorist rights.”

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