Palace, DOF urged to donate 600,000 seized vehicle plates

RE-ELECTIONIST senator Ralph Recto called Wednesday on the MalacaƱang and the Department of Finance (DOF) to allow the donations of some 600,000 seized vehicle plates to motorists who have long paid for new vehicle plates.

Recto said the motorists who are yet to receive their metal sheets from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) may have the vehicle plates abandoned at the Bureau of Customs (BOC), if the DOF and the Office of the President give its go-signal.

"The donation will ease the problem of backlog in the issuance of car plates. Turning over the car plates to the LTO will benefit many motorists who have long complained in the receipt of vehicle plates despite full payment of higher fees," Recto said.

In March, the BOC reported that 11 container vans containing 600,000 license plates were declared abandoned after its private importer JKG-PPI failed to pay the P40 million incurred duties and taxes within the prescribed period.

The importer, JKG-PPI, appeared before the BOC and filed an appeal to lift the abandoned status of the shipped license plates but the appeal was later dismissed. To date, the license plates remain abandoned in the Port of Manila.

"The disposition of abandoned license plates through the LTO will be in the best interest not only of the government agencies mandated to enforce traffic laws and ordinances, but also of the motoring public who have registered their motor vehicles and paid for the license plates," the senator said.

Recto said he finds it "odd" that the plates remain untouched, despite the fact that the license plate backlog as of January 2016 has reached 3 million plates since the issuance of the Notice of Disallowance by the Commission on Audit (COA).

The release of vehicle plates to motorists hit a snag after the COA issued a Notice of Disallowance on the P3.85-billion license plate supply contract on July 13, 2015, citing the failure of the contract to follow the provisions of the Government Procurement Reform Act.

Recto noted that subsequent appeals for COA to lift the Notice of Disallowance have been denied and dismissed, preventing the LTO from disbursing any funds to its license plate supplier. (Sunnex)
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