The issue of undelivered vehicle number plates has been haunting the Land Transportation Office since 2016. Now, under the leadership of Assistant Secretary, Atty. Teofilo Guadiz III, the agency is once again vowing to finally put an end to this issue and has targeted December 31, 2023, to finish at least 90% of backlog.
“Right now, we have already extended the operating hours of the LTO license plate manufacturing plant. It now operates even on Saturdays so that it can produce more replacement plates and reduce the backlog,” says Guadiz.
Budget still a concern
The stamping of plates doesn’t come free. For the LTO, the needed budget will come from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
“The DBM already approved PHP 4.7-billion to address the [plate] backlog. However, the agency requested PHP 6.83-billion,” said the LTO in a statement.
For those who are asking, “didn’t we already pay for our number plates?” Well, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has explained that those fees were all remitted to the National Treasury.
"Lahat po ng kita o ‘yung mga ibinabayad ng motorista sa LTO — kesyo bayad sa huli, lisensya, plaka, rehistro, etc., hanggang sa kahuli-hulihang sentimo — ay nire-remit ‘ho sa National Treasury. Wala pong natitira sa LTO"
[All the revenue collected from motorists, whether for fines, licensing, plate numbers, registration, etc., down to the last centavo are all remitted to the National Treasury. Nothing is left or withheld by the LTO],” explained former DOTr Asec. Libiran.
Currently, there are 2.3 million undelivered plate numbers for vehicles while there are still 11.5 million undelivered plate numbers for motorcycles.