DOTC wants to recall local court ruling voiding higher penalties for traffic violations

June 6, 2012 11:15 pm 

MANILA, June 6 – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), filed a motion at the Baguio City Regional Trial Court to reconsider its decision nullifying LTO Department Order 2008-39 entitled “Revised Schedule of LTO Fines and Penalties for Traffic and Administrative Violations.”

In a 26-page motion for reconsideration, the OSG clarified that LTO DO No. 2008-39 is not primarily a revenue generation measure, contrary to the RTC’s declaration.

As specified in the motion, distinguishing tax and regulation as a form of police power, the determining factor in distinguishing tax over regulation as a form of police power is the purpose of the implemented measure. In the LTO DO No. 2008-39’s case, the primary purpose is regulation and revenue is merely incidental.

The order was issued in accordance with prescribed procedures. In compliance with DOF-DBM Joint Circular No. 2002-2, four public consultations were made in 2002 and two public hearings were conducted in 2003 and 2005.

Public consultations were held on Oct. 3, 2003 and Jan. 11, 2005 attended by members of jeepney drivers and operators’ associations.

The motion clarified that the increase in the fines and charges are justifiable considering key parameters including the direct and overhead cost for rendering the services; actual expenses; comparable services, including the length of time the fee has not been revised; and the gravity of the offenses, which serves as an effective deterrent to violators.

Considering the fifteen-year difference of the old and new rates, the current value of the peso, and most importantly the safety of the public, the new fines are neither arbitrary nor excessive.

DOTC clarified, however, that once the decision of the court becomes final and executory, “we will abide by the ruling stopping LTO Department Order No. 2008-39." (PNA) RMA/DGA/utb

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