Traffic > Decree

LTO to open automated vehicle inspection centers this month

Which will perform emissions tests and roadworthiness checks

About time we had vehicle inspection centers. PHOTO FROM SHUTTERSTOCK

Back in 2017, when a politician by the name of Pantaleon Alvarez was still very dominant and influential before being defanged by Sara Duterte, his so-called Land Transport Act of 2017 made a lot of noise. In particular, the bill called for the creation of a hybrid transport agency called Land Transportation Authority in place of the existing Land Transportation Office and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board. But also part of that bill was the implementation of a nationwide motor vehicle inspection system that would theoretically improve upon the farcical pre-registration process we now have (read: perfunctory visual scrutiny and ineffective emissions testing).

Well, the Land Transportation Authority seems to be dead in the water (at least for now), but the comprehensive vehicle inspection system is very much alive and kicking. In fact, the Department of Transportation has just announced that the LTO is set to open 32 Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers by the end of this month:


  • San Fernando, La Union
  • Vigan, Ilocos Sur
  • Laoag, Ilocos Norte
  • Lingayen and Alaminos, Pangasinan


  • Angeles, Pampanga


  • Dasmariñas, Cavite
  • San Pedro, Laguna


  • Calapan, Oriental Mindoro


  • Pasig City
  • Valenzuela City


  • Pamplona, Camarines Sur
  • Pili, Camarines Sur
  • Sorsogon City
  • Daet, Camarines Norte


  • Roxas City, Capiz


  • Mandaue, Cebu (2 sites)
  • Danao, Cebu
  • Naga, Cebu
  • Dumaguete, Negros Oriental (2 sites)
  • Tagbilaran, Bohol
  • Tubigon, Bohol
  • Bais, Negros Oriental


  • Maasin City, Southern Leyte
  • Ormoc City, Leyte


  • Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay


  • Iligan, Lanao del Norte
  • Ozamis, Misamis Occidental


  • Mati, Davao Oriental
  • Panabo, Davao del Norte


  • General Santos, Cotabato
Hopefully, this would mean the end of faulty brakes being blamed for vehicle accidents. PHOTO FROM PIXABAY

According to DOTr, PMVICs are “privately owned automated vehicle inspection facilities that will not only check a vehicle’s compliance with emission standards, but will also test its roadworthiness prior to registration.”

Yes, you read that right: automated. No more manual procedures that are being blamed for the rampant corruption at current emissions testing centers.

Yung automated inspection, titignang mabuti ang roadworthiness ng sasakyan nang sa ganun, malaman kung ligtas itong bumaybay sa kalsada,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a press statement. “Hindi na po manu-mano ang inspection. Machine po ang gagawa kaya naman accurate ang resulta. At dahil limited ang human intervention, mawawala ’yung sinasabi nating opportunities for corruption.”

After the activation of the above-mentioned PMVICs this month, LTO targets the opening of more sites: 29 in September, 14 in October, three in November, five in December, and 25 in January 2021.

On paper, this project looks really good. We just hope that the “limited human intervention” won’t be enough opening for dishonest personnel to abuse. Because we all know what happened to the universally hated emissions testing centers. We also hope that the whole process won’t be too-time consuming nor too expensive, because that’s how fixers thrive in the first place.

We’ll see soon enough.

NOTE: The above photos are not those of actual Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist for 26 years. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.