High fines and imprisonment for violators still included

Motopinas.com managed to obtain a copy of the DRAFT Implementing Rules and Regulations for Republic Act 11235, popularly called by motorcycle riders as the Doble Plaka Law. This is the first draft of the IRR, which means any possible revisions are still being discussed, making its clauses far from final.

Exclusive: Doble Plaka Law draft IRR  image 

Last March, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the Republic Act 11235, the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, based heavily on Senate Bill 1397 authored by Senators Richard 'Dick' Gordon and Vicente 'Tito' Sotto III. The Doble Plaka Law will require all types of motorcycles big or small, to have bigger number plates in the front and back, and sets fines of up to PhP 100,000 and imprisonment for violators of the said law. 

Drawing protest from motorcycle riders and manufacturers are the provisions of the law that require a front-mounted number plate. Both riders and manufacturers argue that this may pose as a risk to both the motorcycle rider and other road users, particularly the pedestrians as a large, rigid plate my cause harm if improperly secured. Another provision that drew ire from the motorcycle community were the hefty penalties that include imprisonment if one does not comply with the law.

Under the draft that was shared with Motopinas.com by a reliable source, the new law may instead require a 'decal' as a front motorcycle number plate as opposed to a rigid plate similar to those used for four-wheel vehicles and the back of motorcycles. A decal is a sticker or material with adhesive behind, that can be easily affixed to a most motorcycles' curved bodies or windshield.

The number plates for the front shall consist of a decal or decals that shall be made of reflective, tamper-evident materials that should be large enough to accommodate an alphanumeric sequence with a font size of at least ____ mm tall and _____ mm wide per character.” 

The exact size parameters have yet to be determined.

Exclusive: Doble Plaka Law draft IRR  image 

As for the rear number plate, the DRAFT IRR states that: 

The number plates for the rear of the motorcycle shall be made of durable materials, reflective, and tamper-evident. They should be large enough to accommodate an alphanumeric sequence with a font size of at least ____ mm tall and ____mm wide per character to ensure readability from 15 meters away.” 

In addition to the license number itself, the plate will have additional identifying characteristics.

The color coding per region mandated by this act shall be indicated on the Number plate through the use of the Year of Registration Sticker. These should be at least ___ mm tall and ___ mm wide in order to clearly indicate the region of registration of the motorcycle. The color to be indicated shall conform to the region in which the motorcycle is registered. The color may be updated upon renewal of registration if the motorcycle owner renews their registration in a new Region. These should be attached to the license plates upon new registration or upon renewal of registration.” 

As with the imprisonment clause, the DRAFT IRR still includes it.

SEC. 6. Driving Without a Number Plate or Readable Number Plate. – Driving without a number plate or a readable number plate, as provided in this Act, is prohibited. The driver of a motorcycle without a number plate or readable number plate, as provided in this Act, shall be punished by prision correccional as provided in the Revised Penal Code, or a fine of not less than Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) but not more than One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00), or both.” 

In the event of loss, damage, theft or vandalism of such number plate, the DRAFT IRR allows for a temporary plate, provided that the lost plate was properly reported to the Joint LTO and PNP Operations and Control Center: 

The LTO may further issue a pass (authority to create temporary plate / certification of application for replacement plate / permission to use improvised plates), for owners who properly reported such loss, damage, theft or vandalism. The temporary plate shall operate to replace the reference number, once said pass has been issued to the owner.” 

The DRAFT IRR also clearly sets penalties for erring law enforcers who, will unlawfully use a seized motorcycle under RA 11235 and gives the public the power to report such activities to the Joint LTO and PNP Operations and Control Center: “Furthermore, any LTO officer, PNP officer or any deputized law enforcement personnel shall be held criminally, administratively and monetarily liable for using an impound vehicle. The erring enforcer’s office shall also be held vicariously liable for damages. 

The unauthorized use of an impounded vehicle may be reported by anyone who witnesses such unauthorized use. The Joint LTO and PNP Operations and Control Center shall designate an online portal, a hotline or system specific for this purpose.” 

Under the DRAFT IRR of the RA11235, erasing, tampering, forging, imitating, covering or concealing a Number Plate (which may include clear plexiglass cover) will be subject to fines of up to 100,000.00 and imprisonment. 

For the purpose of this provision, a plate shall be considered as erased, tampered, altered, forged, imitated, covered or concealed if the contents of the number plates is no longer readable from the front, the back, and the side of the motorcycle from a distance of at least fifteen (15) meters from the motorcycle; or if the contents of the number plates are materially affected.” 

Since the June 30 deadline for re-registration of all motorcycles as required by RA 11235 had already lapsed, the DRAFT IRR included a provision stating that: “Renewal of registration and application of required readable plates shall be required when the LTO announces that it has the capability to produce such plates, and that such plates can be released to applicants within seven (7) days from application. 

If the LTO is unable to distribute the required readable number plates, it shall issue a temporary authority or pass (temporary authority to use improvised plates). Any temporary plates produced under authority issued by the LTO should conform to the dimensions, font size, and reflective characteristics defined for regular number plates and decals” 

For those who already registered their motorcycle(s) or currently have an updated registration, the LTO will allow them to renew their registration(s) on the anniversary date of the motorcycle's registration – meaning no need to re-register your motorcycle if it is already registered. 

Owners of motorcycles with valid registrations for 2019 up to 2020 shall be allowed to renew their registrations on the anniversary of their valid registration by presenting their original Certificate of Registration at any LTO office. The LTO shall deliver the new plate(s) where the renewal and request for new plates was processed.” 

Once again, this is only a DRAFT of the proposed Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Republic Act 11235. Future Technical Working Group forums will still be conducted by the LTO, PNP-HPG, the motorcycle community, motorcycle manufacturers and all concerned parties to iron out the IRR and hopefully, further favor the welfare of the motorcycle riding public.