Guv wants stricter licensing rules

January 29, 2011

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Buying and selling used cars in Pampanga will not be easy anymore as Governor Lilia Pineda ordered licensing agencies to be stricter in releasing business permits among car dealers.
In an emergency meeting at the Capitol on Thursday, Pineda ordered city and municipal licensing offices and government agencies like the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to ask for more requirements from car dealers before issuing permits to them.
Pineda made the order in the wake of carnapping issues that recently hounded the province, branding it as the “carnapping capital” of the Philippines.
“We all have to take part in resolving the problem of carnapping in the province that’s why we have to be stricter in issuing business permits to these second hand car dealers,” Pineda said.
She also ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to focus surveillance on new residents in far-flung areas where most criminals choose to stay.
The PNP’s Highway Patrol Group (HPG) is the agency responsible for determining whether a vehicle was stolen. The group has a master list of carnapped vehicles.
During the two-hour meeting, Pineda admitted she was disappointed over the series of carnapping and killing incidents in commercial centers of the province like the City of San Fernando, Mexico and Mabalacat.
She asked for explanations from the police and mayors how all the carnapping incidents are centered in the province.
But Police Director Petronio Retirado said notorious carnappers like Raymond Dominguez and his brother Roger were able to post bail and get out of jail after being arrested in Metro Manila and Bulacan. Later, they moved to far-flung villages of Pampanga.
“Even their neighbors do not know them,” Retirado said.
Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo, also president of the Pampanga Mayors’ League (PML), said the lack of police personnel could be one of the reasons notorious car thieves were able to hide in the province.
“The problem is the lack of PNP personnel. In my town, we only have 26 policemen while my population is around 120,000. How could they possibly guard everyone?” Pelayo asked.
Aside from requesting for additional policemen per town, the PML president also suggested that Kapampangan mayors should increase their intelligence funds, support the police and military efforts and instruct village chiefs to keep a record of their residents.
After the explanations, Pineda ordered the police to focus their intelligence gathering on far-flung villages.
She also told mayors to instruct their village chieftains to conduct a census among residents of their village and perform a background check among new residents.
“Barangay captains should be the first persons to know what is happening in their village and should immediately report if there are suspicious people moving into their area of responsibility,” Pineda said.
The governor also said that licensing offices of local government units, including the DTI, should check all the documents of second hand cars being sold by dealers before issuing business permits to them.
“Before car dealers get their licenses, they should acquire an NBI clearance first since we have a peace and order problem,” Pineda said.
Oliver Macaspac, chief of the LTO in Central Luzon, assured Pineda they will be firmer in checking vehicles whose plate numbers were issued in other places.
Macaspac said plate numbers of vehicles in the region are supposed to start with the letter “R”.
Provincial Board Member Crisostomo Garbo, also vice chairman of the committee on peace and order, said the august body will pursue a resolution asking every head of village committees on peace and order to submit the identity of new residents or transients in their village within 24 hours.
For Colonel Gregorio Pio Catapang, commander of the Army’s 703rd Infantry Brigade, joint efforts should not be limited to curbing carnapping cases.
“We have to plan ahead of what could happen next. We have to create an oversight committee that will look into the modus operandi of various criminal groups and we have to plan ahead because we may never know that tomorrow if the province will face human trafficking issues and others,” Catapang said. (Charlene Cayabyab)


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