MANILA, Aug 31 (Mabuhay) — The Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) effective immediately against the implementation of the no-contact apprehension policy (NCAP) for traffic violators in Metro Manila.

STOPPED. Motorists pass by a no-contact apprehension policy (NCAP) sign along Quezon Avenue in Quezon City on Wednesday (Aug. 31, 2022). The Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order effective immediately against the implementation of the NCAP for traffic violators in Metro Manila. (MNS photo)

In a statement on Tuesday, the SC said the TRO stops the implementation of NCAP-related programs and ordinances and any apprehensions through the said policy and ordinances “shall be prohibited until further orders from the Court.”

The order also stops the Land Transportation Office (LTO) “and all parties acting on its behalf from giving out motorist information to all government units, cities, and municipalities enforcing NCAP programs and ordinances.”

Oral arguments on the case are scheduled starting Jan. 24, 2023.

“I do not know the reason why the case was set for hearing January next year. However, in the meantime, the TRO will be in effect,” SC spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka told reporters via text message.

Transport groups Kilusan sa Pagbabago ng Industriya ng Transportasyon Inc., Pasang Masda, Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines, and Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations filed the petition before the court earlier this month.

Named in the suit were Manila, Quezon City, Valenzuela, Parañaque City, Muntinlupa City, and LTO.

In the 47-page petition, the groups said the system which uses close-circuit television cameras places motorists “under constant threat of being arbitrarily apprehended remotely and issued notices of violation for alleged traffic offenses committed without any contact whatsoever.”

The cities that have fully implemented NCAP cited decrease in obstructions, choking of traffic from apprehended vehicles, reckless driving, and hazardous motorists’ habits.

Valenzuela said the NCAP promotes road safety and motorist accountability while Parañaque said it is a form of discipline and the answer to major traffic congestions that create safety risks.

Muntinlupa said it has not yet implemented the NCAP. (MNS)