MANILA – The new law protecting vintage vehicles is a recognition that motor vehicles are an integral part of Philippine culture and history and must be preserved, a leader at the House of Representatives said on Wednesday.
Deputy Speaker Wes Gatchalian, one of the primary authors of the Vintage Vehicle Regulation Act or Republic Act 11698, said vintage vehicles not only passed the test of time but also serve as testimonial to the ingenuity, artistry and skills of their mechanics and builders as well as of dedication and passion of their owners.
"I believe we are just custodians for the next generation that's why we need to promote, protect and preserve these vintage vehicles," said Gatchalian, as he welcomed the enactment of the law.
The law covers all the aspects of regulation of vintage vehicles, its protection, preservation, enhancement and promotion as nation’s heritage, as well as the establishment and strengthening of policies that encourage the same.
It likewise seeks to increase economic opportunities from conditions favorable to small and medium industries that may participate in international markets for the restoration and repair of vintage vehicles as well as in the manufacture of spare and replacement parts.
Gatchalian said the law also aims to encourage tourism through the promotion of automobile tours, establishment of vintage vehicle or car museums, exhibits, vintage motorsports, and other similar events.
He noted the various car groups and enthusiasts, such as the Manila Sportscar Club, the Land Transportation Office, the PNP’s Highway Patrol Group have expressed their support for the passage of the said measure.
Under the law, restoration shops and companies which are in the business of importation of vintage vehicles for restoration in the Philippines and for export of the same, shall be eligible to avail of the fiscal and tax incentives provided in Republic Act No. 11534 or the "CREATE Law".
Vehicles that can register and benefit from the law should be 40 years old from the date of manufacture and whose chassis, engine, steering, and suspension are either original or authentic and whose body has not been altered in general appearance.
Other incentives include exemption from the Clean Air Act, anti-pollution tests, safety and road-use, and other standards that were not in force at the time of the manufacture of these vintage cars.
However, vintage vehicles manufactured after Dec. 31, 1967 must be fitted with safety belts as mandated by RA 8750 or the Seat Belts Use Act of 1999.
By way of showing their distinct class, vintage vehicles are afforded to exhibit special license plates bearing the words Vintage Vehicle and the model and year of manufacture, in addition to the usual letters and numerals appearing in license plates.
Gatchalian said these vintage cars shall only be used for personal purposes and/or leisure driving in order for the government to not be burdened by additional vehicles on the road.
He said a vintage vehicle shall in no event be used as a public utility vehicle or for the commercial transport of persons or goods. (PNA)