Ever since the implementation of the No Contact Apprehension Policy or NCAP, the opinion of the motoring public has been quite obvious and unanimous: it does not work and will only be a means for corruption. These sentiments along with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) asking for a 30-day suspension of the policy for PUVs have only brought the issue deeper into the spotlight and higher to the boiling point.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order – GR (General Register) No. 261892 – which mandates the ceasing of NCAP and any related ordinances. With that, a lot can breathe a big sigh of relief, but what happens now?
MMDA and 5 Cities as respondents in TRO, 4 Cities as of writing will cease NCAP
Let’s break all of this down. We already know “what is covered by the TRO”, so we now go to who are the respondents.
The policy is the brainchild of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA). While they were not named as primary respondents by those who filed the petition for the TRO – and despite some defiance after said Restraining Order was issued – the agency backpedaled and said that they will respect and abide by the order.
More importantly, we get to the 5 cities named as respondents. The NCAP is enforced by the succeeding LGUs and as such, they were specifically named in the petition. They are the cities of Quezon City, Valenzuela, Paranaque, Muntinlupa, and Manila. As of this writing, 4 out of the 5 have made public their intent to comply with the TRO on NCAP, and you can see their responses below.
While the LGU stands by its perceived effectiveness of the NCAP, it will nonetheless respect and abide by the TRO. In Quezon City alone, the LGU stated that traffic violations have dropped by as much as 93% and that it helps instill discipline through its legal and proper enforcement.
The second to respond to the TRO was the City of Valenzuela. As of their posting, they have yet to receive a copy of the NCAP TRO but they ceased its implementation immediately on the same day. In its stead, traffic enforcers will remain on duty to keep order and ensure that motorists in their city will comply with traffic rules and regulations.
Paranaque has likewise issued a statement and its compliance with the SC TRO. The city was rather brief in its announcement but has assured the public that the MMDA NCAP will no longer be implemented as of yesterday.
For all of Paranaque’s brevity, the City of Manila is straight to the point. If it’s not obvious by their announcement alone, NCAP will no longer be implemented in the city.
As of this publishing, only Muntinlupa remains to state compliance (or defiance) but we can expect them to publish theirs sooner than later.
*UPDATE September 1, 2022 – Muntinlupa LGU stated that NCAP was not being implemented in the City, and are therefore not obliged to “comply” with the TRO
All looks well and good, but what happens now?
In a nutshell, we have around 5 months to not worry about getting tagged by either the MMDA or the 5 aforementioned LGUs through NCAP. Included in the TRO was the announcement that oral arguments for this case were set for the afternoon of January 24, 2023. Of course, we’d like for these proceedings to finish quickly and with “favorable” results – favorable results leaning more towards totally doing away with it if we were to listen to vox populi – but the public will be made aware “real-time” with the Supreme Court’s plan of putting information up for public consumption on the internet.
Bye-Bye NCAP, welcome back Physical/”Full”-Contact Apprehension
While waiting for the legal proceedings to, well, proceed, what will now be the means of accosting those in violation of traffic rules and regulations without NCAP? That has been answered by the MMDA:
“Rest assured that the MMDA, through the leadership of Acting Chairman Engineer Carlo Dimayuga III, will do its best to carry out our traffic management mandate by apprehending physically and directing traffic physically, as we await final resolution on the NCAP case,” – Cris Saruca, MMDA Spokesperson
Saruca had said as much in a press conference to address this exact question. After the shelving of NCAP, the deployment and coverage of MMDA personnel will now span and focus on EDSA, Commonwealth, Quezon Avenue, C5, Roxas Boulevard, and Macapagal Boulevard.
The MMDA has likewise reminded the public that those who were tagged for violations via NCAP prior to the issuance of the TRO must still pay the associated fines:
“The Supreme Court said that the TRO is effective immediately and shall continue until further notice, hence, it is prospective, and those who have been caught through the policy prior to the issuance of the TRO still have to pay their fines,”
Were any of you caught by NCAP? Were you really in the wrong or was it a wrongful apprehension as what most motorists bring up to the MMDA’s and LGUs’ attention? Do you believe the Policy should remain, or should it be abolished in its entirety? Will proper enforcement help it carry out its intended purpose or will it simply become another opportunity for corruption?
Let us know what you think in the comments below. Maybe your thoughts would even spark a conversation that can either be for or against NCAP. Everyone’s opinion should be quite interesting now following its suspension, right?