Byline: BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT
President Gloria Arroyo has issued Executive Order No. 156 banning imports of most types of used motor vehicles to protect the local automotive industry.
Arroyo's order "strongly supports the growth and development of the local automotive manufacturing industry," Trade and Industry Secretary Manuel Roxas said yesterday.
A total ban will apply on imports of used cars, sports utility vehicles, passenger vans, pick-ups, and light trucks with a gross vehicle weight of less than 2.5 tonnes, the statement said.
Imports of used light trucks weighing between 2.5 and 6.0 tons would be restricted but no ban would be applied because many small businesses, which make up 99.5 percent of all Philippine businesses, cannot afford new vehicles, Roxas said.
The EO provides a blueprint for the Motor Vehicle Development Program (MVDP), liberalizing the importation of light trucks but at the same time provide stringent penalties to violators.
Section 5 of the E.O. provides that all imported vehicles found to be in violation of the E.O. shall be subject to seizure without redemption and will not be subject to registration by the Land Transportation Office.
"This provision is meant to discourage the illegal importation of used motor vehicles," said Roxas.
Under the E.O., the DTI Secretary has the power to suspend or restrict importation of certain types of vehicles if so warranted by circumstances.
Implementing agencies such as the Bureau of Customs and the LTO will submit to the DTI information on the importation and registration of motor vehicles.
According to Roxas, this motor vehicle segment should be subjected to total import ban as they constitute more than 85 percent of the entire local automotive industry.
To prevent illegal traders from including used pick-ups in their importation and to please the local assemblers, the E. …