The Department of Transportation (DoTr) and the Land Transportation (LTO) yesterday flatly denied assertions on social media that the LTO is focusing its resources on apprehending owners of modified vehicles.
“The law enforcement unit of the LTO is out there on the road everyday, apprehending all types of violators,” said the LTO in a statement.
“As a matter of fact, only one modified vehicle has been impounded in the most recent operation held in NLEX, and the reason for it is because the vehicle is not currently registered,” the LTO said.
Nonetheless, both the LTO and its mother agency the DoTr said they appreciate the ongoing discussion on the matter and that, in the spirit of transparency, “our doors are open for dialogue.”
They said they welcome recommendations and suggestions that may be presented and discussed, with the safety and welfare of the public as the topmost priority.
Heavily modified vehicles, including sports utility vehicles converted to improve off-road performance through changes in axles, gears and tires, are said to pose danger when used in roads.
But in cracking down on heavily modified vehicles, the LTO said it is merely implementing Department Order (DO) 2010-32, prohibiting axle, chassis, body, rim size and exhaust modifications.
The DO is aligned with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the standard followed by other ASEAN countries, the LTO said.
But modifications of the above may be allowed provided a Certificate of Road Safety from the manufacturer can be presented by the owner to prove that the modification will not compromise, in any way, safety. The same is also subject to inspection by the LTO for possible reclassification.
The LTO said tampering with the engine performance, drivetrain, suspension, wheels and brakes of a vehicle, which are outside the approved parameters of its basic components, may affect its performance and compromise safety.
Enhancements to features and performance such as interior and exterior trimmings are allowed, for as long as the existing design of the vehicle is not compromised, it added.
Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry had come up with a Philippine National Standards to cover locally rebuilt vehicles such as jeepneys.