The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) reminds newly elected local chief executives (LCEs) that local government units (LGUs) are prohibited from acquiring or using luxury vehicles for their operations.
DILG Secretary Atty. Benjamin C. Abalos, Jr. called on provincial governors, city/municipal mayors, punong barangays, and Sanggunian members to exercise due prudence when purchasing motor vehicles and observe strict compliance with budgetary, procurement and auditing laws, regulations and standards at all times.
He said the procurement of motor vehicles should be done in the most efficient and economic manner with due consideration on vehicles that are cost-effective, fuel-efficient, environment-friendly, and at par with improvements and developments in the automotive industry and relevant technology.
“Manatili po tayong matipid sa pagpili ng sasakyan lalo na’t hindi pa tayo nakakabangon sa masasamang epekto sa ekonomiya ng pandemya ng COVID-19. Dapat po tayong maging halimbawa sa ating mga nasasakupan sa masinop na paggamit ng pondo ng bayan,” he said.
Considered as “luxury vehicles” are cars (sedan or hatchback) with an engine displacement exceeding 2,500 cc, if gasoline-fed or 3,500 cc if diesel-fed and/or with an engine exceeding four cylinders; passenger vans or pick-up type vehicles with an engine displacement exceeding 2,500 cc, if gasoline-fed or 3,000 cc if diesel-fed and/or with an engine exceeding four cylinders; and multipurpose vehicles and vans with an engine displacement exceeding 2,500 cc, if gasoline-fed or 2,800 cc if diesel-fed and/or with an engine exceeding four cylinders.
For sports utility vehicles, they are considered luxury vehicles when the engine displacement exceeds 2,700 cc, if gasoline-fed or 3,000 cc if diesel-fed and/or with an engine exceeding four cylinders.
Like luxury cars, Abalos said the purchase of secondhand or reconditioned vehicles, except for aircraft and seacraft, regardless of the source of funds and approving authority is also not allowed.
In DILG Memorandum Circular (MC) 2022-105, the DILG Chief encouraged LGUs to dedicate a percentage of their vehicular requirements to the purchase of motor vehicles using alternative fuel types such as biofuels, flexi-fuel, natural gas, and solar-powered, taking into consideration the sustainability or power supply in the area of operation.
He said local chief executives are allowed to acquire the following motor vehicles and heavy equipment chargeable against their local funds subject to specification limitations: specific-purpose vehicles such as ambulances, patrol and armored vehicles, fire trucks, prisoners’ vans; heavy equipment such as road construction equipment, cargo transport equipment, farm machinery, waste management or environmental sanitation equipment, etc.; locally-assembled, owner or passenger-type jeep; motorized bancas and motorized boats; vehicles for mass transport; motorcycles and tri-wheel vehicles.
“Please bear in mind that all motor vehicles intended to be purchased must not contain a brand name. Likewise, no post-purchase authority shall or could be issued by the Department under any circumstances,” he said.
He also said the purchase of assembly vehicles usually of passenger or owner-type jeepneys is allowed only when brand-new vehicles are not available in the locality or if available, the cost is prohibitive due to the distance from the nearest market source; or where an assembled vehicle is deemed more durable as the design and type of parts used are made suitable to the road condition/terrain in the locality such as in remote barangays or municipalities.
In case of assembly of vehicles, Abalos said it is subject to the approval of the Secretary of Budget and Management and shall not use surplus or reconditioned engines.
He said all LGUs with proposed acquisition of motor vehicles that are not under the approving authority of the local chief executive must seek prior approval from the Secretary of Budget and Management, the Office of the President, or the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government, on specific motor vehicles as may be authorized by designated approving authorities.
Meanwhile, the DILG Secretary said that according to guidelines from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), rental of vehicles can be resorted to if the said mode is deemed more economical, expedient, and convenient than outright purchase such as for ad hoc functions, for the transportation of participants during events, for urgent or emergency cases, among others.