Thousands of vehicle plates still unclaimed

PLATES. Thousands of plate numbers are in the custody of the Land Transportation Office waiting to be claimed by vehicle owners. (SunStar Photo/Arni Aclao)

THE Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7 urged vehicle owners whose registration falls within the July 2016 to February 2017 period to claim their plate numbers from their dealers not later than Sept. 30.

In a press conference, LTO 7 Director Victor Emmanuel Caindec said that by Oct. 1, 2018, the LTO Law Enforcement Service will conduct a massive operation against vehicles without plate numbers and apprehend them.

Caindec said this covers vehicles with four wheels and above. Car owners who will be apprehended will be fined P5,000 each. The license of the drivers will be confiscated and replaced with a temporary operator’s permit (TOP).

Caindec said there was a total of 23,625 vehicle plate numbers in the custody of LTO 7 for vehicles that were registered from July 2016 to February 2017.

However, only 500 plate numbers were claimed by vehicle owners as of Sept. 3, 2018. This prompted Caindec to call a dialogue with vehicle dealers yesterday morning.

“So, why are vehicle owners blaming LTO 7 for the delay in the release of their plate numbers when their vehicle dealers were the ones who did not claim the plates turn them over to the owners?” Caindec said.

He said that before, a car buyer was required to issue a special power of attorney (SPA) to the car dealer to get the plate number. Now the LTO reduced it to only authorization.

To speed up the backlog plate number distribution, the LTO will set up a “claim” or “distribution” area at SM Seaside on Sept. 6, 7 and 8 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) where dealers can claim the plate numbers in bulk and distribute it to the waiting vehicle owners.

The backlog started when the Commission on Audit (COA) disallowed the funds intended for the plate numbers.

The LTO will assign personnel to help the vehicle owners install the plate numbers to their units.

“I told the dealers that we are going to start violation operation on Oct. 1. If at the time of apprehension the vehicle was registered between July 2016 and February 2017 and you did not claim your plate number, we will apprehend you and fine you P5,000,” Caindec said.

“If the issue is that vehicle owners complained to have no plate number, so why don’t they claim it now?” Caindec said.

Meanwhile, LTO 7 has summoned three motorcycle dealers to explain why they released motorcycles to their customers without submitting stock or sales report which is mandated by law.

“Three motorcycle dealers will be fined P100,000 each. They are not supposed to release the motorcycles if they have not yet reported to the LTO the sales. When the complaints were capitalized by a politician, we conducted inspection and found three of them violating the law,” Caindec said.

He said dealers have LTO accreditation, which required them to submit stock or sales report to LTO and then to register these motorcycles before releasing the units to customers.

“Those who were caught violating the laws are ‘per branch’ and not across-dealership. We are inspecting more branches to determine the other violators. If their accreditation will be revoked, they cannot sell motorcycles anymore,” Caindec said. (EOB)


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