It was 3-years ago since the controversial Republic Act 11235 was signed into law. Dubbed by the motorcycle community as ‘Doble Plaka law’, it prescribes a bigger number plate at the rear of the motorcycle and a readable number plate in front. Also, the law prescribes heavy fines up to PHP 100,000 and prison time for violating it.

Now, a Senate Bill (SB) was filed to amend certain provisions of the law.

Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, has filed SB 159 which seeks to amend provisions of RA 11235.

“The ‘riding in tandem’ phrase has become a staple expression in the daily news and negatively tarnished the image of the peace-loving riding community. Ineffective crime prevention, criminals should indeed be punished. But in the process of doing so, the innocent should not be made to suffer,” said Ejercito on SB 159’s explanatory note.

Use of RFID in lieu of front motorcycle plate

One of the amendments being sought by SB 159 is using a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) instead of using a visually-readable front plate. Under Section 3, Section 5 of RA 11235 is amended as follows:  “Bigger and readable color-coded number plate and installation of RFID sticker – the LTO shall issue a readable number plate and RFID sticker for every motorcycle. The LTO shall, in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of this Act, determine the font style and size of the bigger, readable, and color-coded number plate AND A SMALL SCANNER-READABLE RFID STICKER: Provided, That the contents of the number plate shall be readable from the [front, the- back, and the side] BACK of the motorcycle from a distance of at least fifteen (15) meters from the motorcycle; AND THE DATA CONTAINED IN THE RFID STICKER INSTALLED IN THE FRONT OF THE MOTORCYCLE SHALL BE READABLE BY RFID SCANNERS.”

Fines lowered

One of the things that made Doble Plaka law so controversial is the provisions that impose harsh punishment and heavy fines. SB 159 seeks to amend that.

Sections 4 to 6 of SB 159 lower the penalties stipulated in RA 11235 to just PHP 5,000, PHP 10,000, and Arresto Menor or 1 to 30 days imprisonment, from PHP 20,000 to PHP 100,000, and jail time of up to a couple of years.

You can read the full text of SB 159 here.