THE coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic may delay the issuance of bigger and double license plates for motorcycles, as required under Republic Act No. 11235 or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act.
Francis Ray Almora, Land Transportation Office (LTO)–Cordillera regional director, assured the public that as long as the national government is unable to start producing and issuing the new license plates, there will be no apprehensions for motorcycle riders.
“Between the implementation and the effectivity of the law, what we are saying is that the law takes effect in June 6 this year but LTO recognizes its shortcomings. As of now, those blank plates for the motorcycles are currently at our plants and LTO can start the production of the plates including the decal by June and once we have produced and distributed this, by July we will be able to see some motorcycles having plates in compliance to the law,” Almora explained.
Current conditions, however, make the government unsure as to when the law can be fully implemented.
LTO central office could not provide a definite timeline for the implementation, citing Covid-19 concerns as well as manufacturing issues.
An LTO-run license plate manufacturing plant was established by the government in 2017.
But with a capacity for producing only 8,000 plates per day, it would take months or even years to fully deliver the new ones.
LTO and some government officials have locked horns over the delay in the IRR.
When it was finally issued, the LTO was also criticized for the timing as the country and the rest of the world are focused on fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Motorcycles have become an alternative for people who needed to report for work despite the restrictions, following the suspension of public transportation services in line with the community quarantines being implemented to stop Covid-19 transmission.
“We have been receiving a lot of issues regarding these plates but unless the law will be repealed or amended, we will still have to implement the law,” the LTO director stated.
LTO on May 11 addressed in the revised IRR the requirement for only decal plates instead of metal plates for the front of motorcycles. The metal plate will be installed at the rear of the motorcycle.
The IRR also mandates “bigger, readable and color-coded” number plates for all motorcycles as well as lights for the rear plate.
“The law imposes penalties of as much as P100,000 for violators, including riders who will be caught driving without a readable license plate,” Almora added.