Gordon blames lack of plates for rise in riding-in-tandem crimes

Senator Richard Gordon, the principal author of the Doble Plaka Law, directed his ire to Land Transporation Office (LTO) during today’s Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing for not enforcing the law that he authored. Republic Act 11235, the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on March 8, 2019.

“I demand the resignation of all the people of LTO na may kinalaman dyan (who are involved),” said the furious Sen. Gordon.

“People are dying. People are losing their motorcycles to thieves. People are losing their bags, their cellphones,” added Gordon, who also said that the LTO’s ineptness has resulted in the continuous rise of riding-in-tandem criminality in the country.

In his defense, LTO’s chief, assistant secretary, Edgar Galvante, has said that the agency was trying to catch up to the millions of number plates in backlog. The agency had already acquired plates compliant with the prior design (5 numbers, 2 letters). However, due to the mandated new plate design, including a stop order filed with the Supreme Court, they had to reset and start over again. 

“We apologize for not being able to do that... In fact, [we] are about to distribute and deliver 1.6 million na nacut na ito. Stamped na numero. Kaya lang pinatigil kasi hindi compliant sa lalabas na batas (plates were already cut and stamped. But it was stopped because the plates were not compliant with the new law),” said Galvante.

Gordon further lambasted the LTO, even calling the agency “incompetent.” He said it has no compassion for the victims of riding-in-tandem criminals. The LTO is expected to produce 19-million motorcycle plate numbers by next year. If our math is right, the LTO will be working 24/7 for the next 11 months, producing 1,727,272 plates per month, or 57,575 motorcycle number plates per day. Currently, the LTO has a daily capacity of producing 22,000 number plates for both cars and motorcycles.