A BILL has been filed in the House of Representatives prohibiting car owners from using commemorative plates.
Alay-Buhay Party-list Representative Weslie Gatchalian filed House Bill 4870, which bars the use of commemorative license plates and provides penalties for its illegal use.
Gatchalian said commemorative plates have been abused by some of its users to escape violation of traffic rules and regulation especially the number coding or the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Scheme of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
Gatchalian filed the proposed measure after a recent incident involving Ateneo Blue Eagles cager John Apacible who found himself at the center of a storm and while drunk is flashing a "councilor" vanity plate, causing a commotion along the busy Timog Avenue in Quezon City.
It may be recalled that former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo issued Executive Order No. 400 providing a uniform system of assignment and issuance of low numbered protocol license plate to ranking government officials from the President down to RTC Judges.
However, the illegal use of the protocol plates by unauthorized persons or motor vehicles is strictly prohibited.
"Commemorative plates are being widely used nowadays. Some bears the name of government agencies which clearly suggest that these vehicles are owned by some influential person whom an ordinary traffic or law enforcer would refuse to apprehend in case of violation of law or even the simple number coding," Gatchalian said.
He said that despite issuance of the order by the Land Transportation Office recalling all commemorative plates, "such recall would be meaningful and forceful if it will be accompanied by a legislative act specially because that the LTO is now issuing new number plates under the agency’s Motor Vehicle Plates Standardization Program which states that all plates shall be uniformed and designed according to international standards." (Sunnex)