Supreme Court issues TRO against No-Contact Apprehension Policy (NCAP) and sets January 2023 oral arguments

To those of you motorists who got penalized over alleged violations of the No-Contact Apprehension Policy (NCAP) implemented by some local government units (LGUs), be aware that the Supreme Court has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the said police and scheduled oral arguments on January 2023, according to a GMA Network news report. Also be aware that certain Metro Manila city mayors are standing firm with the NCAP.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the GMA news report. Some parts in boldface…

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the No-Contact Apprehension Policy (NCAP) being implemented by local government units.

In a media briefer, the SC said effective immediately, any apprehensions through the NCAP programs and ordinances related to the policy shall be prohibited until further orders from the court.

It also enjoined the Land Transportation Office and all parties acting on its behalf from giving out motorist information to all local government units, cities, and municipalities enforcing NCAP programs and ordinances.

The SC set the oral arguments on the issue on January 24, 2023.

The SC’s order came after transport groups Kapit, Pasang Masda, Altodap, and the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations filed a petition against local ordinances related to NCAP in five cities in Metro Manila.

A lawyer also asked the high court to declare as unconstitutional and issue a TRO against Manila City Ordinance No. 8676, which implements the policy.

For its part, the LTO has previously asked local governments to temporarily suspend the implementation of the policy, with its head, Teofilo Guadiz III, calling on the mayors of the five cities to sit down with the LTO and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to create uniform guidelines.

To this day, the NCAP is controversial and anyone who got charged for traffic-related violations can challenge the findings through due process. There was this case of the road trap in Parañaque City that affected a lot of motorists with penalties for alleged disregarding of traffic signs. For insight, posted below is an excerpt from a article about Parañaque’s road trap. Some parts in boldface…

For the many motorcycle riders who reside in Las Pinas and Cavite, going to Manila or Quezon City meant passing through Paranaque City’s Dr. Arcadio Santos Avenue (Sucat RD) toward Domestic Road on the way to EDSA, or toward Macapagal BLVD and Roxas BLVD.

A few weeks ago, road users were in an uproar on what they dubbed as “road trap” in one of the intersections of the said thoroughfare.

On this particular intersection of J.P. Rizal and Sucat RD, the second lane was marked with an arrow for left-turning vehicles only. Since Paranaque City is one of the few Metro Manila cities that implement a No-Contact Apprehension System, hundreds of drivers and motorcycle riders were summoned with their corresponding traffic violation which amounts to PHP 1,500 for Disregarding Traffic Signs (DTS).

What’s odd is that the marking was previously pointing north towards the former Nayong Pilipino and not to the left.

With fuel costs nearing PHP 100/liter, every penny counts for the Juan dela Cruz rider/driver, and penalties from similar traffic violations could mean a family skipping lunch or dinner.

Just recently, a motorcyclist was summoned by the city for DTS. The motorcycle rider sought help from the Motorcycle Rights Organization (MRO), who then advised what steps should be taken following due process of law.

According to MRO, based on their research of relevant laws, LGUs like Paranaque City cannot make a new or update a road marking/traffic sign without prior approval from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) or the Department of Transportation (DOTr)/ Land Transportation Office (LTO).

To follow due process, MRO advised the rider to first seek a reaction/memo from the DPWH as to the legality of the road/traffic markings. The DPWH has then sent a letter to Paranaque LGU advising them that the marking is inconsistent with current standards. You can view the MRO social media post here.

On their end, the City of Paranaque has made the necessary lane marking corrections and has declared the motorcycle rider’s traffic violation void.

For added insight about Parañaque, watch the video below.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this new development? If you were charged for traffic violations based on findings through the NCAP system, which particular local government unit penalize you? Do you believe that the NCAP system is being abused by LGUs as a means to raise internal revenues at the expense of motorists who were tagged for traffic violations? Did Parañaque City’s notorious road trap get you penalized? Do you believe that the NCAP made traffic flow and road discipline better? Do you believe that the NCAP implemented by the cities of Parañaque, Valenzuela, San Juan, Manila and Quezon City should be declared illegal by the Supreme Court?

Do you believe that the city governments of Parañaque, Valenzuela, San Juan, Manila and Quezon City should be compelled to reveal how much many they each raised from all the penalties collected through NCAP?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.


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