Oliver Bugarin 5 0 0 4 min to read

SC issues a TRO to end the no-contact policy.

The Supreme Court ordered an instant temporary restraining order (TRO) prohibiting the execution of Metro Manila’s no-contact apprehension program (NCAP) for traffic infractions.

The SC stated in a statement on Tuesday that the TRO prevents the implementation of NCAP-related programs and regulations and that any arrests made in accordance with the aforementioned policies and ordinances “will be forbidden pending further directions from the Court.”

The injunction forbids “any parties operating on its behalf from providing motorist information to all governmental entities, towns, and municipalities enforcing NCAP programs and ordinances,” according to the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

On January 24, 2023, oral arguments in the case are expected to begin.

“I don’t know why the case’s hearing date was changed to January of next year. The TRO, however, will be in place in the interim, SC spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka texted media.

Senator JV Ejercito maintained his stance that the NCAP should be put through a trial phase for at least six months prior to full deployment, arguing that it is important to conduct proper information drives and identify a solution to the problems first.

“As a former mayor, I am aware of the mayors’ intentions in the NCR (National Capital Region), which is to establish order and modernize enforcement in order to combat corruption. However, because NCAP is still a relatively new idea, not everyone is aware of how it works, let alone the bugs that come with automation, according to a statement made by Ejercito following the issuing of the TRO.

Prior to that, he had said, the NCAP should be “perfected,” citing complaints from drivers and passengers who claimed they had been “unjustly penalized” as a result of the policy’s shortcomings.

The petition was submitted to the court earlier this month by the transportation organizations Kilusan sa Pagbabago ng Industriya ng Transportasyon Inc., Pasang Masda, Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines, and Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations.

Manila, Quezon City, Valenzuela, Paranaque City, Muntinlupa City, and LTO are named in the lawsuit.

The groups said in a 47-page appeal that a system that employs closed-circuit video cameras puts drivers “under constant threat of being arbitrarily detained remotely and issued notices of violation for supposed traffic infractions committed without any contact whatsoever.”

Cities that have fully implemented NCAP have reported reductions in traffic congestion brought on by stopped cars, irresponsible driving, and dangerous driving practices.

While Paranaque claimed it was a form of punishment and a solution to the enormous traffic jams that put people’s safety at danger, Valenzuela claimed that the NCAP increases road safety and motorist accountability.

Muntinlupa claimed that the NCAP has not yet been introduced.


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