“One Time, Big Time” LTO and HPG Teams Hit Guimaras
One of our nieces in Guimaras relayed a disturbing report to us the other day. Last week, while she was tutoring, a Filipino man drove in to buy something from the sari sari store located at the residence our niece was teaching. Our niece is a teacher at her auntie’s private school. The man was quite upset. He had just went through a LTO, Land Transportation Checkpoint. He had to pay a 6,000-peso fine for not having an early warning device in his vehicle! Frankly, I would have been upset, too.
“6,000-PESO FINE FOR NOT HAVING EARLY WARNING DEVICE IN VEHICLE”
The Guimarason was a victim of a “One-Time Big-Time Operation.” These are all-out police operations. Such raids are held simultaneously across the Philippines. These police operations are also used to capture illegal drugs personalities, most wanted persons, and loose firearms.
LTO conducted joint operations with assistance from the HPG, Highway Patrol Group, against traffic violators with emphasis on overloading, tricycles on highways, speeding, among others.
According to LTO regulations, the early warning device is required for all types of vehicles, except motorcycles and tricycles.
Image courtesy of philkotse.com
6,000 pesos! That’s about 120 US dollars. I quickly checked the World Wide Web and discovered the fine for not having an early warning device is only 500 pesos, 10 USD.
For the second offense, you have to relinquish your license until you show evidence of owning a EWD in hand. Lastly, if the police impounded your vehicle and find no EWDs, then you can not regain your car until you bring the officers a pair of EWDs. Here’s a look at a memo from the LTO:
Were there Other Violations?
Did the man have any other violations? No, he told everyone at the sari sari store that he approached the checkpoint without any trepidation. He had all his paperwork in order; his registration was up to date. He was wearing shoes and not slippers (wearing slippers, flip-flops, and is a violation of LTO rules.)
I attempted to contact officials on the local Region 6 Facebook page but they are not answering any chat questions during the pandemic.
Frankly, I did not know of any such requirement. Our Ford Ranger doesn’t presently have any EWDs but I’ve ordered a pair of the red and yellow triangles from Shopee for 199 pesos, about $4. Moreover, the EWDs do not have to be shown during yearly vehicle registrations and inspections.
No one has ever asked us if we have any such devices during our annual registration nor have I seen read anything online about such a requirement.
However, upon further investigation, a resource on the interweb, silent-gardens.com, led me to this piece of information. The following pdf comes from the Philippine Department of Transportation.
Consequently, there appears to be two separate fines for the failure to have early warning devices despite the official LTO fine of 500 pesos. While the 5,000 peso amount comes closer to the 6,000 the Guimaras man had to pay, it would appear that the heftier fine is being imposed. Therefore, if you have a passenger vehicle it would be wise to purchase an early warning device as soon as possible. While the 6,000 peso fine is outrageous, it still is a good idea to have such a warning device on hand.