Gordon slams LTO for delay in release of motorcycle plates
Senator Richard J. Gordon today lashed out at the Land Transportation Office (LTO) for its delay in the issuance of motorcycle plate numbers, which is in violation of Republic Act (RA) 11235 or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act.
Gordon, the law's author, said the LTO committed what he referred to as an “unconscionable and inordinate delay” in the implementation of the law by delaying the release of motorcycle plates.
“The LTO was given until 31 December 2019 to produce, release and issue the readable number plates required by RA 11235. But, LTO started production of motorcycle license plates only on 29 July 2020 - 7 months after LTO was mandated by law to produce the correct number plates,” he said in a privilege speech.
“The first batch of plates was distributed only on 27 August 2020. LTO needs to produce 18 million permanent motorcycle plates more by June 2022. This is misfeasance, for which the LTO under the leadership of Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante should be held to account,” he added.
Under its Implementing Rules and Regulations, the LTO must issue a set of bigger, readable, and color-coded number plates for each motorcycle, consisting of a metal plate in its rear and a decal plate in its front.
While the old plate measured 200mm x 225mm, while the new plate measured 235mm in width and 135mm in height, which helps potential witnesses to a crime in identifying the motorcycle.
However, the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chaired by Gordon found out that the LTO was unable to immediately issue plate numbers, leading to a backlog in available plates to new and existing motorcycles.
Gordon said the immediate installation of plates, along with the decal stickers, could help people easily identify motorcycles up to 15 meters away.
“The readable plates and the Command Center could have assisted the PNP greatly in solving crimes, and could have deterred the commission of other crimes,” he pointed out.
“With the proper implementation of RA 11235, riding-in-tandem perpetrators will be easily apprehended since the number plates will be easily read and monitored,” he added.
Because of Galvante's alleged misfeasance of the law, Gordon moved to press charges against the LTO chief, by virtue of the Senate's oversight power in aid of legislation.
Due to the continued non-implementation of the law, riding-in-tandem killings remain unabated in the country, claiming 172 lives in 2021 alone.
It may be recalled that Al-Barka, Basilan Mayor Darussalam Lajid and his bodyguard were killed, while Akbar, Basilan Mayor Alih Awal Sali was injured after being cut down by assassin's bullets in Zamboanga recently.
Veteran journalist Jesse Malabanan was killed inside his home by riding-in-tandem, becoming the 22nd journalist killed under the current administration.