I personally arranged my ride's registration and transfer of ownership last week. The LTO fixer who handled my previous car's registration and ownership transfer, now has "processing fee" of Php 2,500 without need of bringing the car to HPG for clearance and to LTO for registration. To avoid such under-the-table processing fee, and to support Pres. Noynoy's call to eradicate graft and corruption practices in Philippine government, I decided to handle such tasks even if it entails more effort and using my vacation leave balance at the office.
Since Highway Patrol Group's (HPG) Muntinlupa office is the nearest to my place, I decided to bring my car there to get the PNP Motor Vehicle Clearance. It is one of the requirements on registering second-hand vehicles before the Land Transportation Office (LTO) revise the owner's details on the car's registration. They are supposed to verify if the car is not stolen or carnapped, before it can be registered to the new owner. HPG is formerly known as Traffic Management Group (TMG).
As I plan to finish early on the day's tasks, I arrived at HPG Muntinlupa inside the LTO compound at 7:50 am and I was the first applicant for the motor vehicle clearance. However, the HPG personnel who keeps the macro-etching certificate arrived only 2 hours later, so it was only then that the macro-etching and cross-checking of records was done, which only took 30 minutes. The HPG guy who came in 2 hours late apologized to all 3 of us applicants who have been waiting for him, though he didn't showed any remorse for his tardiness. Strike 1 for HPG.
Standard processing time of the vehicle clearance takes about 3 days after the application and paying Php 300 clearance fee at the nearest Landbank branch. The guy who received my application papers told me that if I want to get the vehicle clearance within that day, I should pay them P600 extra. If I don't want to travel to and from Landbank, I should add another Php 50, which are all non-negotiable. Since I don't want to file another VL in my office, and spend another day's effort and more gas/toll fee expenses, I reluctantly paid them Php 950 of which only Php 300 has official receipt. The same thing happened with the other 2 applicants when we compared our payments. Strike 2 for HPG.
What makes the whole HPG experience very disappointing is the Php 600 unrecorded facilitation fee (or bribe), which ends up directly on their pockets. If they could finish the whole process in less than a day or 30 minutes on my experience, why would they let their customers go back for their vehicle clearance after 3 days? Car owners are made into their cash cows with this rotten system which work for their favor. After looking at a phrase on their signboard that says "To serve and to protect", it makes me sad that corruption is deeply ingrained on their veins, and that such public servants seem to have lost their sense of purpose and integrity.
I know that I am partly to blame for unethical practices, when I give bribes to make processing time faster, or to avoid a traffic violation ticket. But then, all of us could change for a better society, and I would do my part to minimize corruption by resisting to give bribes, and exposing such attempts.
Below are the requirements and steps in getting a motor vehicle clearance from HPG:
- Bring original and photocopies of the Certificate of Registration (CR), Official Receipt (OR), and notarized Deed of Sale.
- After parking your car at the HPG grounds, open the hood of your car to allow cooling of the engine prior to macro-etching of the engine number.
- Submit the photocopies of the 3 documents to HPG personnel who may check the original copies for verification.
- Applicant receives the request for clearance form, as basis for Php 300 payment to Landbank.
- Pay Php 300 to Landbank, then go back to HPG office to submit the request for clearance and Landbank receipt.
- HPG personnel will usually fill up the motor vehicle application form below after getting the information from the submitted documents, then will ask the applicant to sign it.
- A HPG crime lab personnel will perform the macro-etching of the engine and chassis numbers and will record the info on the 4 carbonless copies of the macro-etching certificate. Lending them a rag and/or a flashlight will hasten the process. Php 20 as tip is optional.
- HPG office will verify if the vehicle is not on their list of wanted or stolen vehicles. Will take them 15 minutes or more depending on the number of applicants.
- If there is no problem with your vehicle, HPG will release your motor vehicle clearance after 3 days (standard processing) or within the day (if you opt to pay bribe).
- The clearance is valid only within 7 days, so try to register your vehicle at your mother LTO branch within this period.