Press Release
March 23, 2018


As the investigation on the Dimple Star bus crash gets underway, Senator Grace Poe urged authorities to look into the bigger picture of how the Land Transportation Office (LTO) conducts inspection of vehicles before registration or franchising.

Poe said she received reports about the rampant practice of "no-show" or "non-appearance" of vehicles seeking new or renewal of their registration or franchise, or during emission test.

"Information that reached us said that in paper, motor vehicles undergo and pass the test, but the reality is a number of them were never tested," she said.

The complete inspection of vehicle, including emission test, is a requisite to annual registration.

As disclosed by some concerned citizens, some LTO employees allegedly receive bribe during the stage of vehicle inspection in exchange for approval even without the physical inspection of vehicles.

According to her, there were information that some bus companies have designated representatives who deal with LTO employees for their fleet to get a clean bill without testing, for a fee.

In some cases, the chassis and engine do not also match in the original document because the operator changed them.

"If indeed true, then we can only imagine that because of this corrupt practice in the LTO, many vehicles, in whatever condition, can ply our roads, putting in peril unsuspecting passengers and commuters," Poe said.

"Is there even an effective way of checking the road worthiness of vehicles already on the streets?" she added.

The senator welcomed the 30-day preventive suspension meted by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Dimple Star to allow it to conduct the proper investigation.

She urged the LTFRB to take into account the number of accidents in the past where the Dimple Star fleet of buses were involved.

She said that stricter tests should also be done on buses that have notorious accident records.

"Where is the actual testing conducted? In cases where the LTO inspectors go to the garage of bus companies to do the testing and inspection, how sure are we that these inspectors are really doing their job and do not accept bribe money?" she said.

Poe has a pending bill that would create the National Transportation Safety Board that would be the sole agency tasked to look into transportation-related accidents and determining their causes. This would cover land, air, sea, including railways and pipeline systems.

She said the enactment of the measure would be the first step towards safer roads for the people.

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