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FACT CHECK: MMDA’s no contact apprehension policy still suspended


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FACT CHECK: MMDA’s no contact apprehension policy still suspended
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority debunked the claim circulating on social media, saying the implementation of the policy has been suspended since 2022

Claim:  The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) no contact apprehension policy (NCAP) is being re-implemented. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: Several Facebook users shared on their personal accounts a copy-pasted message claiming that the MMDA’s NCAP is now in “full force.” 

The post claims that since the policy is now in effect, MMDA traffic enforcers will no longer be on the road flagging drivers for traffic offenses because monitoring will be done via CCTV cameras.

“Consequently, car registered owners will be informed of violations via post mail and shall be given only 5 days to contest the violations,” the announcement read.

To make it seem that the announcement came from a legitimate source, some users linked the message to a February 2023 Inquirer opinion article. One version of the misleading post, which has since been deleted, also included logos of the MMDA, the Police Community Affairs and Development Group-Metro Manila, and their contact details. 

The facts: In a Facebook post on February 14, the MMDA disowned the alleged announcement, saying it did not come from them. The MMDA added that the implementation of NCAP had been suspended since 2022 due to the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court (SC). 

The agency also advised the public to verify directly with the MMDA any supposed announcements circulating on social media.

About NCAP: NCAP utilizes traffic management technology such as CCTV and advanced camera systems to enforce traffic rules. Its proponents said the NCAP helped minimize human intervention in traffic management and instill a culture of discipline among motorists. (READ: EXPLAINER: What is the No Contact Apprehension Policy and why is it being suspended?)

Reimplemented in 2016 under the administration of former president Rodrigo Duterte, the policy was enforced in five cities: Manila, Quezon City, Valenzuela, Parañaque, and Muntinlupa.

According to the MMDA’s Frequently Asked Questions on NCAP, the policy will not rid Metro Manila roads of MMDA traffic enforcers, but will “supplement” their presence. The agency added that since there are still places not covered by CCTVs, NCAP is designed to catch moving violations while MMDA enforcers will deal with the “apprehension of administrative offenses.”

Upon receipt of the notice of violation, an individual has seven days to contest the violation, not five days as stated in the circulating social media posts, according to the MMDA. 

Suspended: The SC issued a TRO stopping the implementation of NCAP on August 30, 2022, following petitions from transport groups and a lawyer challenging the policy. 

The first petition from transport groups urged the High Tribunal to declare invalid seven NCAP-related ordinances for violating existing laws. The groups also argued that NCAP has no basis in Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code and Republic Act 7924 or the MMDA law.

Meanwhile, lawyer Juman Paa’s petition asked the SC to declare NCAP unconstitutional after he was fined P20,000 for alleged traffic violations. The SC has yet to decide on these petitions after it concluded oral arguments in January 2023.

Misleading: The Inquirer article linked in some of the misleading Facebook posts was about Metro Manila mayors’ approval of a single ticketing system to “harmonize” existing laws on traffic enforcement. It also talked about possible use with NCAP to discipline motorists and improve road safety, and clearly mentioned that NCAP was suspended because of the High Court’s TRO.  

Debunked: The misleading announcement has been appearing online since at least 2018, according to the archives of Agence France-Presse (AFP). The same copy-pasted announcement resurfaced in August 2022, which has been debunked by both the MMDA and AFP.

Official accounts: For official updates on MMDA’s programs and services, refer to its official website, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and Instagram accounts. – Larry Chavez/Rappler.com

Larry Chavez is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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