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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

House to review bill expediting registration of imported vehicles
07 December 2017 10:37:47 AM

The House committee on transportation chaired by Rep. Cesar Sarmiento (Lone District, Catanduanes) on Wednesday approved the creation of a technical working group (TWG) that would fine-tune a bill seeking to expedite the registration of imported motor vehicles.

House Bill 6455, principally authored by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Sarmiento, mandates the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to speed up its process of registration of imported automobiles. The committee has referred the bill to a TWG in which stakeholders and resource persons from the industry will be enjoined to share their insight on the matter.

The measure mandates the LTO to issue the certificate of registration of imported motor vehicles within 48 hours from the date of submission of requirements. It also mandates the LTO to coordinate with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for the electronic transmission and access of accurate and timely certificate of payment on taxes, customs duties, and other importation documents necessary pursuant to Executive Order No. 482, s. 2015.

The EO launched the National Single Window (NSW), a computerized Internet-based system that allows parties involved in trade to lodge information and documents with a single entry point to fulfil all import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements. The NSW system thereby streamlines the registration process and cuts down the turnaround time.

Currently, the presence of bureaucratic red tape in the agency frustrates clients for requiring them to go through long series of routinary procedures to secure vital government services such as certificates of registration for imported vehicles. This problem is further compounded by the tedious process of obtaining from the BOC, proof of payment of taxes, customs duties or other charges necessary for the issuance of the certificate of registration for imported vehicles, according to the Speaker and Sarmiento.

Moreover, it has become imperative for the government to remove red tape by taking advantage of technological advances to improve efficiency in the delivery of services and streamlining the process of obtaining common official documents, according to the authors.

“The present situation would definitely [be] described as a wide area of corruption because some government personnel will find it very difficult to issue the certificate of payment or probably give [the clients] the run-around. And for them to get the necessary document, people would be forced to come across,” said Sarmiento.

Alvarez cited that one of the reasons for delay is the LTO’s requirement that each branch of a car dealership must be accredited. He also noted that for over a year, the LTO has been unable to release the license plates of numerous vehicles.

The Speaker went on to express his disappointment with the sluggish processes of the LTO, saying that LTO officials should strike down old laws that burden citizens. He underscored the importance of eliminating redundancy in registration processes, such as in the cases of brand-new motorcars that already come with certifications from the manufacturer.

“Bakit pahihirapan [at] magtatagal ang registration ng brand-new vehicles? Unang-una, imported vehicles—halimbawa, bakit dumadaan pa sa PNP (Philippine National Police) Highway Patrol, DENR (Department of Energy and Natural Resources)?” Alvarez asked.

The committee thereby decided to refer the measure to a TWG for further review, enjoining the input of resource persons.

Meanwhile, the committee also approved two bills seeking to increase the accessibility to LTO and its services through the establishment of new offices. HB 5076 by Rep. Florida Robes (Lone District, San Jose Del Monte City) will establish a satellite LTO office in San Jose Del Monte City, and HB 5111 by Rep. Isidro Rodriguez Jr. (2nd District, Rizal) mandates the creation of a permanent LTO district office in the municipality of Morong in Rizal.

Officials from LTO present at the committee hearing expressed the agency’s support for the passage of the two bills and voiced no objections.

Sarmiento further stated that the LTO has created a directory of areas where district offices will be established, and has identified other places where an LTO office is necessary. The move will aid the committee in deliberations as it will eliminate having to discuss piecemeal each proposal for an LTO office creation.

“What we did was inform the district representatives concerned and we will go into that, as part of the service of this committee, by filing an omnibus bill calling for the establishment of district offices in the main areas,” Sarmiento said. / CMBE