Head over to BGC on a Sunday morning and you’re bound to see a number of classic motorcycles and scooters ranging from ultra rare sportbikes like the Kawasaki GPZ 900R to vintage scooters like the Lambretta SX200. It goes without saying that there is quite a strong market for classic vehicles in the Philippines. On top of that, it showcases the rich heritage as well as the culture of the motorcycle industry over the years.
That said, modern regulations such as the clean air act and more so the new MVIS being implemented have made it almost certain that these classic beauties would fail the inspection and render themselves non-registerable. That would mean that these classics would be forced to rot away in a garage, never again seeing the light of day. Additionally, enthusiasts who wish to import their classic vehicles from other countries are slapped with massive import tax fees. All these restrictions understandably dissuade enthusiasts from getting into classic motorcycles.
Luckily, Deputy House Speaker, Wes Gatchalian, has filed the “Vintage Vehicle Act” or House Bill 8244. The proposed law seeks to embed vintage cars and motorcycles into Philippine cultural and historical heritage. Given our country’s rich history in dealing with countries like the USA, Japan, and Britain, the law seeks to highlight these vehicles as hallmarks of history and cultural heritage. Going into more detail, the vintage car or motorcycle in question must be at least 30 years old from the date of production. The bill also states that the “chassis, engine, steering, and suspension are either original or authentic,” meaning that these classics must be certified original. Additionally, the vehicle’s body must also be in original condition—maintained either by original or authentic replacement parts.
To make things even better, if a vintage car or motorcycle has no papers, or the original registration documents have been lost, said vehicles will be given an exemption so long as the owner submits a personal affidavit and police clearance. Additionally, Section 6 of the bill states that vintage vehicles will be allowed free importation into the Philippines, and that the state “shall impose no restrictions on the importation of vintage vehicles.” Classic vehicles that carry the vintage vehicle status will likewise be exempted from the Clean Air Act and MVIS. Subsequently, modifications will not need to be made in order for them to conform to any new road safety standards.
There are, of course, a few limitations when it comes to the use of vintage vehicles on the streets. For starters, classic cars and motorcycles can only be used on weekends and holidays. They will only be allowed out on weekdays for the sole purpose of LTO registration. These vehicles will be identified with a special number plate to differentiate them from regular vehicles.