The Land Transportation Office (LTO) may be facing another supply shortage when it comes to number plates. Unfortunately, it's the motorcycle number plates that are most likely to be affected by budget cuts.
In a recent House budget hearing for the Department of Transportation (DOTr) of which the LTO is an attached agency, assistant secretary, Edgar Galvante, expressed concern that the agency may not be able to meet the millions of motorcycle number plates backlog because of budget cuts.
“Ang malaki po naming problema is 'yung sa motorcycles. Sa projection po ng LTO, kailangan ng 18 million plates hanggang June 30, 2022. Bagama't humingi po tayo ng pondo, sa kasamaang palad, hindi po tayo napagbigyan dito (Our biggest problem is the motorcycle number plates. Based on LTO’s projection, we need 18-million [motorcycle] plates by June 30, 2022. Although we sought for additional funding, unfortunately, it was not granted.),” LTO chief Edgar Galvante told lawmakers.
The LTO, like other government agencies, remits all the revenues they generate to the national government. In a nutshell, the income they generate from vehicle registration (including payment for number plates), driver's licenses, fines paid by traffic violators, etc., are not kept in LTO's bank account or vault, but rather remitted to the national government.
LTO needs extra hands, budget
Out of the 18-million backlog, the LTO chief says that they have already stamped about 3.6-million motorcycle number plates. To meet the huge amount of backlog within the deadline (the date a new administration will take over), the LTO has suggested that motorcycle number plate stamping could be outsourced. However, this would require additional funding from the national government.
“Nakagawa na po ang LTO ng 3.6-million. 'Yun po sanang kakulangan, gusto po sana natin itong i-contract out kasi po yung capacity ng ating planta [ay] hindi kakayaning matugunan yung bulk ng plaka ng motorsiklo. Kaya po kung matutulungan po sana kami ng kongreso na mahingi itong pondong ito. (We have already stamped 3.6-million motorcycle plates. For the rest, we suggest the work to be outsourced to a contractor since our plate-making facility does not have the capacity to meet the bulk of motorcycle plates. We really hope that congress can help us with the funding),” adds Galvante.
Back in August, the DOTr aired their side of the coin amid the Commission on Audit report as to why there is still a shortage in the stamping of motorcycle number plates. You can read the full story here.
The backlog was actually the result of a number of events that eventually led to a change of plate design, necessitating the agency to start from scratch. These range from a supplier issue back in 2015, the passage of the doble plaka law in 2019, and budget cuts from congress.