THE Supreme Court (SC) issued on Tuesday, August 30, 2022, a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the implementation of the no-contact apprehension policy (NCAP) of several local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila against traffic violators.The TRO is effective immediately and will last until further orders from the court.”The court also said that any apprehensions through the NCAP programs and ordinances related thereto shall be prohibited until further orders from the court,” the SC Public Information Office said in a statement.The SC also prevented the Land Transportation Office, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and all parties acting on its behalf from giving out motorist information to all LGUs, cities and municipalities enforcing NCAP programs and ordinances.It also set the case for oral arguments on January 24, 2023, giving proponents and critics of the policy an opportunity to argue for or against the measure.In a press conference on Wednesday, August 31, MMDA acting spokesperson and head of Legal Service Attorney Cris Saruca Jr. said they have received the SC order and have vowed to comply with it.He said they will consult the Office of the Solicitor General to seek advice on their next action and whether it will have to intervene on the pending petition as it is not a respondent to the case.With the suspension of NCAP, Saruca said they will adjust the deployment of their traffic personnel to intensify the physical apprehension of traffic violators.From January 2022, the MMDA apprehended over 107,000 violators through the implementation of NCAP. Among the most common violations were disregarding traffic signs, no loading and unloading zone and number coding.Saruca said the NCAP has contributed to the behavioral shift of motorists, but they are still hoping that discipline among motorists will be maintained even without it.Two petitions were filed against NCAP before the SC — one was filed by transport groups Kapit, Pasang Masda, Altodap and the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations while the other by a lawyer who was fined P20,000 due to traffic violations.The petitioners were challenging the constitutionality of the NCAP.Metro Manila mayors earlier defended the NCAP, saying it instills discipline among the motorists.Transport groups welcomed the issuance of the TRO against NCAP, which they said adds to their burden amid the soaring fuel prices. (SunStar Philippines)