DOTr scraps 15-year age limit for trucks

By Aerol John Pateña

November 22, 2018, 2:26 pm

MANILA -- The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has scrapped the vehicle age limit for trucks amid the ongoing ‘truck holiday’ being staged by certain trucking groups in protest of the phasing out of trucks which are more than 15 years old.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has issued a memorandum circular which allows truck operators, including those who have units that are more than 15 years, to continue operating on their franchises as long as they pass roadworthiness tests conducted through the motor vehicle inspection system (MVIS) of the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

“We will be veering away from the vehicle age policy moving towards the roadworthiness policy in terms of determining roadworthiness of public utility vehicles. During the transition, units that are 15 years old or much older can continue to operate. Once the MVIS is put in place, the policy to determine the roadworthiness of the vehicle will be done through the motor vehicle inspection system,” LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

Department Order (DO) 2017-09, which reinforces an earlier order issued in 2002, mandated a 15-year age limit for public utility bus units or trucks for hire covered by a certificate of public convenience.

The transition period for truck operators to replace non-compliant vehicle units under the DO is from June 30, 2017 to June 30, 2020.

“For existing CPCs and pending applications for trucks for hire service there should be a two-and-a-half-year transition period or until June 30, 2020 within which operators of trucks for hire will be required to substitute noncompliant units per DO 2017-09. However, upon establishment of the MVIS centers during the transition period, the roadworthiness certificate shall be the basis to determine a public utility vehicle’s roadworthiness,” Delgra said quoting the memorandum.

The DOTr has likewise issued a DO which will authorize private sector companies to operate MVIS facilities nationwide.

“We are currently drafting the implementing rules and regulations wherein we will accredit private companies to run these MVIS facilities. We expect this to be up and running after six months around that time period,” according to DOTr officer-in-charge Undersecretary for Road Transport Mark de Leon.

The DOTr official said the department is looking into more than 200 MVIS facilities that will be operated by the private sector across the country alongside the procurement by the LTO of 26 mobile inspection units.

A group of truck operators is currently staging a six-day “Truckers Day of Rest” from November 19 to 24 to protest the phaseout of 15-year old trucks and the port congestion in the country.

The Inland Haulers and Truckers Association said it will push through with the truck holiday unless the government halts the phaseout of old truck units and consider their roadworthiness instead. (PNA)