MMDA pushes to bring back NCAP following alarming spike in traffic violations

The MMDA’s No Contact Apprehension Policy or NCAP was ordered to stop about 10 months ago. Following a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) from the Supreme Court, its implementation came to a screeching halt and all LGUs followed the ruling. Fast forward to today, well, to about a week ago, an unfortunate accident along EDSA prompted MMDA Acting Chairman Atty. Don Artes to declare the possibility of petitioning that the TRO be lifted. Given the numbers, it might actually happen.

MMDA shows numbers to possibly support the re-implementation of NCAP

Mmda Ncap No Contact Apprehension Policy Petition Inline 01 Min

Photo: MMDA

As we speak, apprehension of erring motorists has fallen into the Single Ticketing System where traffic constables are on the ground handing out tickets and citations to traffic rule violators. During the time of NCAP, cameras were used as “evidence” and should a motor vehicle get “tagged”, a copy of the violation and the corresponding fine will be sent to whom the vehicle is registered. To make the long story short, though, this was seen as a means for exploitation and extortion, contrary to the perceived “benefit” of the No Contact Apprehension Policy. Hence, the TRO.

This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard of a push for its re-implementation, though. In December last year, the Office of the Solicitor General already called for the lifting of the TRO. That has not happened. Yet. But with the recent data that the MMDA released, it seems there’s a pretty strong argument in favor of the No Contact Apprehension Policy.

From the time it was suspended until June 13, 2023, a staggering total of 256,977 violations were recorded by the MMDA. On the day and the day following the TRO, there were already 761 violations. In the months that followed, the average skyrocketed to about 23,000 per month.

Mmda Ncap No Contact Apprehension Policy Petition Inline 02 Min

Photo: MMDA

Regarding law enforcement, the difficulty that they face, and the likelihood of petitioning for the NCAP TRO to be lifted, Artes had said that “We find it difficult to enforce… without the certainty of a CCTV-assisted apprehension… the agency will also coordinate with the Office of the Solicitor General to show the agency’s data and to possibly file a motion for the Supreme Court (SC) to consider lifting the TRO imposed upon the agency’s NCAP”.

Further data showed that the most common violations involved Disregarding Traffic Signs, UVVRP or Number Coding, Illegal Loading/Unloading, Obstruction, Dress Code violations, Attended Illegal Parking, Anti Distracted Driving Act (ADDA), Reckless Driving, and not wearing a proper crash helmet for motorcyclists. We’re pretty sure that there are a lot more, but these are the ones listed by the MMDA probably as the most common violations.

Mmda No-Contact Apprehension Policy Main 00

The motion to reverse the NCAP is still pending in the Supreme Court. Nonetheless, the MMDA is working on the lifting of the TRO. Numbers don’t lie, and while Vox Populi does not agree with the No Contact Apprehension Policy, all sides will and should be taken into consideration given the calls to bring it back. The majority had already “won” after the issuance of the TRO, but in the long run, has it really been a “win”?

Until such time that a decision has been reached, perhaps we will get an official statement from the MMDA. For now, let’s all follow the rules of the road and not be on the receiving end of the Single Ticketing System or any other law enforcer’s handheld ticketing device. It pays to always be disciplined motorists.

Mikko Juangco
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