Motorcycle riders, numbering anywhere from 10,000 – 50,000 according to various estimates, once again rode together along EDSA yesterday as part of a National Unity Ride, organized in protest of the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act recently passed into law. One of its most controversial provisions is the requirement of a front plate for all motorcycles. Organizers of the protest have advised the concerned government against requiring a steel plate for the front on the grounds that it will be difficult to implement and dangerous for the riders and other motorists.

Tens of thousands join unity ride against Doble Plaka image

The unity ride began at the People Power Monument at EDSA White Plains, proceeded north along EDSA until Trinoma, before heading back south along EDSA until SM Mall of Asia. At MOA, the convoy turned right to head towards its final destination, the Senate of the Philippines.

Tens of thousands join unity ride against Doble Plaka image

The group was composed of various motorcycle groups, spearheaded by the Riders of the Philippines. The convoy was composed of various motorcycle clubs of big and small bikes as well as individuals passionate about the cause.

Besides Metro Manila, several simultaneous unity rides were held elsewhere in the country, such as Bataan, Bacolod, Oriental Mindoro, Davao del Norte, Catanduanes, Olongapo, Iloilo, Pangasinan, Albay, Isabela, Cagayan de Oro, Quezon Province, Cebu, and Zamboanga.

In a recent forum, hosted by Senator JV Ejercito at the Senate, several groups along with government agencies had agreed to pursue requiring stickers or RFIDs in the front of the motorcycles, instead of the controversial front metal plates. Nonetheless, the Riders of the Philippines has decided to push through with the unity ride in order to voice their opposition against the possibility of front metal plates.

Tens of thousands join unity ride against Doble Plaka image

Motorcycle dealers and manufacturers had also expressed their displeasure over the requirement of front identification plates, citing that fitting the various models they offer with provisions for front plates may be difficult and could adversely affect the motorcycle industry.

Under the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, which was signed by President Duterte on March 8, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is mandated to issue bigger, readable and color-coded license plates to every motorcycle in the country. Though the act does not explicitly state that metal plates are required, it does not specify the material it must be made with.