Press Release
June 12, 2015

Reimburse those who have already renewed
Recto wants to freeze issuance of new car plates

Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto today called for an immediate halt on the on-going replacement of all motor vehicles license plates amid questions raised on the soundness of such policy and complaints from the motoring public.

Recto said the Land Transportation Office (LTO) should stop its ill-adviced policy of directing all vehicle owners to replace their existing plates for no other reason than to collect more money from them.

"Dapat itigil ang policy na iyan. Wala namang problema ang mga plaka, bakit nila pinipilit na palitan? Anong pakinabang non kundi pahirapan lang at pagastusin ang publiko," the senator said.

Recto said the questionable policy must be stopped immediately and that those who have already paid for new set of plates be reimbursed until such time that the LTO can show the Senate and the motoring public that something good can come out of it, "like making our vehicles less vulnerable to carnapping once these plates are installed."

During the last hearing of the Blue Ribbon committee led by subcommittee chair JV Ejercito, Recto questioned the officials of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the LTO on how and why they bid out that ambitious P3.8 billion project to procure motor vehicle plates when DOTC in 2013 was only given a P180 million budget for it.

"To begin with, they had no authority to bid out that P3.8 billion project. What they did is illegal because there was no funding for that project in the 2013 budget," Recto stressed.

"Normally, you can only bid out a project when there's SARO (Special Allotment Release Order). In this case, there was no SARO. Kaya nakapagtatakang nai-bid out nila itong napakalaking proyekto," said Recto in explaining the budget process.

Recto said the DOTC and the LTO should instead concentrate their efforts on easing the daily traffic jam that is plaguing the metropolis and in making sure that our mass transport like the MRT and LRT are working fine.

"Asikasuhin nila ang nakakabwisit na traffic at ang problema sa MRT at LRT, at hindi iyung pagpapalit ng plaka ng sasakyan na wala namang problema," Recto said.

In the next Senate hearings, Recto said he will ask DOTC and LTO to think of ways on how to bring down the cost and shorten the process of vehicle registration.

"Sa ngayon, pag nag-rehistro ka ng brand new na sasakyan, dadaan pa sa PNP. Bakit kailangan pang dumaan sa PNP kung bago ang sasakyan? Pwede siguro iyon kung ang irerehistro mo ay second hand na sasakyan para maseguro mong hindi iyon carnapped. But if the vehicle is new, maybe we can do away with that one step para hindi masyadong abala sa mga tao at mas mabilis ang pag-rehistro ng sasakyan," Recto said.

Earlier, Recto said he sees no problem if the government will allow motor vehicles to keep their old license plates and limit the installation of new plates to brand new vehicles up for registration. He said there is no logic to the plan of DOTC to replace all existing plates with a new design.

"No matter how I look at it, walang pakinabang dito kundi dagdag na gastos lang sa taongbayan. At ang kikitain ay mapupunta lahat sa manufacturing company ng plaka na kwestyunable pa ang bidding," Recto said.

The LTO has started the issuance of new plates for motor vehicles and motorcycles charging P450 and P120 respectively per set of plates.

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