Should vintage cars, or those at least 40 years old from the date of manufacture, still be allowed on Philippine roads just like any other motor vehicle? The Senate seems to think so, thus its decision to pass in early February its Senate Bill 2493, or the proposed law regulating the use of vintage, historical, classic, and collector motor vehicles.
It remains uncertain whether the approved bill will soon be enacted. However, there doesn’t seem to be any strong opposition to it from lawmakers, regulators, Malacañang, or even the motor vehicle industry itself. Numerous hearings on the bill were held, and most issues raised early on appear to have been already resolved.
I, for one, support the bill, being the owner of a 1975 model car. And while I don’t fully agree with all the provisions of SB 2493, I deem it a fair regulation in encouraging the “preservation, maintenance, occasional use, and registration” of vintage vehicles — “a motor vehicle, whether powered by an internal combustion engine, electricity, a combination of both, or other means, that is at least 40 years old reckoned from the date of manufacture, whose chassis, engine, steering assembly, and suspension assembly are either original or authentic and whose body has not been altered in general appearance…”
The more significant provisions of the bill, in my opinion, cover vehicle registration and allowable use, as well as exemptions from certain standards. While the latter may not sit well particularly with environmental groups, who may legally question the exemption as possibly contrary to the Clean Air Act, I still believe the bill’s compromise is a fair and realistic approach to regulation.
Section 5 of SB 2493 states that, “in recognition of their small number, their expected limited use, and the historical fact that the technology available at the time of their manufacture will not permit them to meet modern standards, vintage vehicles registered under this Act shall not be…
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