While a lot of Filipinos love their vintage and classic cars, the sad reality is that our lawmakers and ordinary citizens tend to look upon these vehicles as old, rickety, and dilapidated. Fortunately, there is a move from Congress to take care of these vintage vehicles. We refer to House Bill 8244 or the Vintage Vehicle Act.
Authored by Deputy Speaker Wes Gatchalian, the Bill seeks to protect vehicles that are 30 years old or more by offering incentives to their owners and provide a conducive environment for their restoration and maintenance.
To qualify for such incentives, a vehicle must be at least 30 years old, with its engine and other mechanical components being original or authentic. The body, meanwhile, should not have been heavily modified.
This criteria will entitle it to perks such as:
- Exemption from the Clean Air Act, air pollution tests, and safety and road use testing, all of which may not have been in force at the time of their manufacture.
- Amnesty on registration of vehicles with lost registration papers, provided an affidavit can be furnished.
- A reduction of taxes and fees on spare parts and even on the importation of the vehicle itself.
- A special license plate bearing the words Vintage Vehicle.
Apart from these, the Bill also allows the importation and use of right-hand drive vehicles, even if these were previously prohibited.
And the Vintage Vehicle Act also takes into account the concern of many sectors that allowing such vehicles to run again would only add to the already horrific traffic. According the Gatchalian’s measure, such Vintage Vehicles will only be allowed to run on weekends and holidays.
Asked why he came up with this measure, he noted that these vehicles are part of our historical and cultural heritage, as well as a symbol of our artistry and innovativeness and should truly be preserved.
At present, the Bill is seeking passage in the Lower House.