Senator Richard Gordon, principal author of the infamous RA 11235 “Doble Plaka” law, has again renewed his call for its full implementation. The senator cited the incident of a barangay tanod in Floridablanca, Pampanga, being gunned down by riding-in-tandem criminals.
“I am calling on the LTO (Land Transportation Office), anew, to ensure that the law is implemented as soon as possible. We really have no time to lose, we have to be serious about eradicating criminality now," said the senator.
Republic Act 11235, or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on March 8, 2019. The law prescribes bigger number plates for motorcycles, front and back, as well as hefty penalties that include jail time for those who are caught violating it.
“If RA 11235 is already implemented, riding-in-tandem criminals would not be able to escape easily since the number plates would be easily read. Law enforcers would also be able trace the owner of the motorcycle used in the crime because the number plates are color-coded and a complete database will be kept in the operations center that will be jointly operated by the PNP (Philippine National Police) and the LTO,” added the senator.
Implementing the law has become quite a burden for the LTO. Due to the controversies that surrounded the procurement of a new number plate supplier years ago, the LTO was not able to print number plates for a couple of years and was left with millions in backlog. It has instead opted to produce the plates itself.
In June of last year, assured the riding public that doble plaka law cannot be enforced yet since there are no plates to begin with.
“Yung provision patungkol doon sa pagkakaroon ng plaka sa harap at likod ng motorsiklo ay hindi pa maipapatupad dahil wala pa ‘yung plaka. Hindi pa ito ma-iimplement until maibigay natin ang mga plaka. (The provision that requires plates in front and behind a motorcycle cannot be enforced because there are no plats yet. It cannot be enforced until we provide all the plates.),” said LTO Operations Division Office-in-Charge, MJ Paras-Leynes.
Also last year, motorcycle groups have filed cases against certain provisions of the doble plaka law. These provisions, according to the groups, were unconstitutional and “creates a legal burden inconsistent with, or completely disregards the constitutionally protected rights of professional motorcycle owners and riders.”