House conducts motu proprio inquiry into propriety, legality of impounding vehicles

THE House of Representatives Committee on Transportation chaired by Antipolo City Rep. Romeo Acop on Thursday held a motu proprio inquiry in aid of legislation into the propriety and legality of impounding vehicles by traffic enforcement agencies.

The inquiry is based on House Resolution 1443 filed by Zamboanga Sibugay Rep. Wilter Palma, APEC Party-list Rep. Sergio Dagooc and 1-RIDER Party-list Reps. Bonifacio Bosita and Ramon Rodrigo Gutierrez. Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III clarified that they already stopped the law enforcement function of the agency which includes impounding of vehicles, following the opinion released by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the matter.

It was also pointed out during the hearing that the agency lacks proper facilities for impounding motor vehicles. Rep. Acop proposed that the LTFRB and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) conduct further studies into amending Republic Act 4136, or the “Land Transportation and Traffic Code” to particularly address ambiguities in the legislation, such as the authority to apprehend and jurisdiction to impound vehicles.

He also urged the traffic enforcement agencies to address the issue of ‘colorum’ vehicles in order to maintain regulatory compliance, fair competition, as well as safeguard the interests of both the operators and passengers.

LTO Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza II will issue an order to stop the process of actual vehicle impounding and only proceed with technical impounding nationwide.

Only the motor vehicle license plates will be seized under technical impounding. Earlier, the panel approved HBS 8416, 8523, 8545, 8575, 8607, 8644, 9148 on establishing or upgrading LTO extension offices in various parts of the country.

Likewise, HBs 9031 and 9136 were also approved, both seeking to establish LTFRB offices in Bohol and Olongapo City, respectively.

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