The Scrutineer

Jerome NeriAtty. Jerome G. Neri
The Scrutineer

NOW that we have a new administration that has a battle cry for change, I do hope that certain laws and regulations with respect to cars will be looked into and reviewed by this administration using people who know about cars and are disinterested. It seems to me that rules and regulations with respect to automobiles in this country have been made by special interest groups or that the people in the land transportation department are just ignorant.

Let’s start with the ban on the importation of second-hand spare parts for cars. While it is still being done, there is an executive order that prohibits it. Importers go around this E.O. by bringing in some car parts together with truck parts. It would be difficult to tell one from the other. Anyways, a big portion of a car can be recycled. A lot of car parts suppliers used to import used parts from Japan. These come from cars that are still in running condition that have been parted out. Because of it’s depreciated cost they are a lot cheaper, better for the consumer. In the past, it was easy to source used doors, fenders, lights windshields, windows, grills, etc., making some collision repairs a lot cheaper. Now, consumers have to contend with either very expensive OEM parts or cheap Chinese knock offs. The “surplus” headlights or taillights cannot be easily bought in today’s market.

Vehicles in Cebu (SUN.STAR FILE)
Vehicles in Cebu (SUN.STAR FILE)

From what I understand, the justification of this ban was pollution. It was argued that the importation of second hand engines, would mean we are repairing our cars with updated engines that are pollutants and so the government decided to ban the importation of anything second hand with respect to cars. Apart from the engine, there are so many other recyclable parts of a car, why are these then banned, too? This ban benefits the few manufacturers/importers of brand new parts to the detriment of the many consumers. Moreover, just because an engine is used, it does not necessarily mean it pollutes. What controls pollution are pollution controlling devices that are attached to the engine. It actually does not matter whether the engine is used (but in a reasonably good shape) or brand new for it to be non-polluting, what is important is that the pollution controlling devices attached to the engine are working properly.

All other countries, including first world countries such as the US, Canada, Japan, England, Australia, and Germany, even promote the use of secondhand parts, as these are better for the environment to recycle.
Another issue that needs to be addressed are the registration of second hand imported vehicles. For a time there were a lot of imported secondhand vehicles that landed in Cebu. These cars were sold to buyers in good faith and complete with papers and registered. A lot of these cars were sold to first time car buyers. After a couple of years, it became difficult to register these cars as it became apparent that they were illegally imported.

The problem here is that these cars went through customs most probably with some corruption involved, got registered again probably with corruption involved. It is this corruption that made these cars appear to the buyers as legitimate cars then all of a sudden they cannot renew their registration legitimately and have to resort to go to “fixers” so that their car’s registration can be renewed.

The existence of these cars are the direct result of corruption in the Bureau of Customs and the Land Transportation Office. It is about time that these cars be legitimated as the owners of these cars are victims of these corrupt offices.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *