DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. on Wednesday reminded local chief executives (LCEs) that the acquisition of luxury vehicles for their operations is not allowed.

In a statement, Abalos said the procurement of motor vehicles should be done in the most efficient and economic manner with due consideration to vehicles that are cost-effective, fuel-efficient, environment-friendly, and at par with improvements and developments in the automotive industry and relevant technology.

Abalos called on provincial governors, city/municipal mayors, village chairpersons and council members to exercise due prudence when purchasing motor vehicles and observe strict compliance with budgetary, procurement, and auditing laws, regulations and standards at all times.

Manatili po tayong matipid sa pagpili ng sasakyan lalo na’t hindi pa tayo nakakabangon sa masasamang epekto sa ekonomiya ng pandemya ng Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019). Dapat po tayong maging halimbawa sa ating mga nasasakupan sa masinop na paggamit ng pondo ng bayan (Let's be economical in choosing a vehicle especially since we have not recovered from the bad economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. We should be an example to our constituents in prudent use of public funds),” Abalos said in a statement.

Considered as luxury vehicles are cars (sedan or hatchback) with an engine displacement exceeding 2,500 cc if gasoline-fed or 3,500 cc if diesel-fed and/or with an engine exceeding four cylinders; passenger vans or pick-up type vehicles with an engine displacement exceeding 2,500 cc, if gasoline-fed or 3,000 cc if diesel-fed and/or with an engine exceeding four cylinders; and multipurpose vehicles and vans with an engine displacement exceeding 2,500 cc, if gasoline-fed or 2,800 cc if diesel-fed and/or with an engine exceeding four cylinders.

For sports utility vehicles, those classified as luxury vehicles are those that have an engine displacement exceeding 2,700 cc, if gasoline-fed or 3,000 cc if diesel-fed, and/or with an engine exceeding four cylinders.

Abalos also said the purchase of secondhand or reconditioned vehicles, except for aircraft and seacraft, regardless of the source of funds and approving authority is also not allowed.

In DILG Memorandum Circular (MC) 2022-105, Abalos urged LGUs to dedicate a percentage of their vehicular requirements to purchase motor vehicles using alternative fuel types such as biofuels, flexi-fuel, natural gas, and solar-powered, taking into consideration the sustainability or power supply in the area of operation.

He said LCEs are allowed to acquire the following motor vehicles and heavy equipment chargeable against their local funds subject to specification limitations: specific-purpose vehicles such as ambulances, patrol, and armored vehicles, fire trucks, prisoners’ vans; heavy equipment such as road construction equipment, cargo transport equipment, farm machinery, waste management or environmental sanitation equipment, etc.; locally-assembled, owner or passenger-type jeep; motorized bancas and motorized boats; vehicles for mass transport; motorcycles and tri-wheel vehicles.

“Please bear in mind that all motor vehicles intended to be purchased must not contain a brand name. Likewise, no post-purchase authority shall or could be issued by the Department under any circumstances,” he said.

He also said the purchase of assembly vehicles, usually passenger or owner-type jeepneys is allowed only when brand new vehicles are not available in the locality or if available, the cost is prohibitive due to the distance from the nearest market source; or where an assembled vehicle is deemed more durable as the design and type of parts used are made suitable to the road condition/terrain in the locality such as in remote barangays or municipalities.

In the case of assembly of vehicles, Abalos said it is subject to the approval of the Department of Budget and Management and shall not use surplus or reconditioned engines.

He said all LGUs with the proposed acquisition of motor vehicles that are not under the approving authority of the local chief executive must seek prior approval from the Secretary of Budget and Management, the Office of the President, or the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government, on specific motor vehicles as may be authorized by designated approving authorities.

Abalos said according to guidelines from the Department of Budget and Management, the rental of vehicles can be resorted to if this mode is deemed more economical, expedient, and convenient than outright purchase such as for ad hoc functions, for the transportation of participants during events, for urgent or emergency cases, among others. (PNA)