THE House committee on Metro Manila development called Tuesday the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to stop its policy requiring vehicle owners to replace their old but still usable license plates with new ones.

Quezon City Representative Winston Castelo, panel chair, said there was no need to change all license plates as millions of vehicles in the country have still usable or serviceable license plates.

Under the policy, motorists who will renew their vehicle registration have to pay an additional P450 as payment for the new license plates issued by LTO. Of this amount, P380 will be the manufacturer's share while P70 will be the Department of Transportation and Communication's administration fee.

Castelo also asked why the new license plates were sourced from the Netherlands citing local companies that produce standard license plates.

"There are several companies that could produce that kind of plate number. Wala talagang value ang new car plates," said Castelo.

Earlier, Isabela Representative Rodolfo Albano III called for the immediate suspension of the mandatory replacement old license plates.

The Isabela lawmaker described as "abusive" the LTO's policy of forcing vehicle owners to replace their old license plates.

The lawmaker said that the new license plates policy "is a monumental attempt to again rip off millions of helpless motorists in the country whose car plates are still usable or serviceable."

The two lawmakers agreed that the new vehicle plate program has failed to justify the alleged technical superiority of the car plates in relation to the use of required reflective sheeting that had been a feature of past car plates issued by the LTO.

They said the reflective sheets are vital to car plate manufacturing and use because of the visibility requirements for car plates especially at night. (Sunnex)