In a forum hosted by Senator, JV Ejercito at the Senate Building in Pasay City today, Land Transportation Office (LTO) Assistant Secretary, Edgar Galvante, confirmed in front of the motorcycle groups, motorcycle manufacturers and dealers present that the agency is strongly considering an alternative to the perceived front-mounted metal plate which many presume will be required by the controversial Republic Act 11235 or Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, commonly referred to as the 'Doble Plaka Law'. The republic act was recently signed and approved into law by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Citing safety concerns, ASEC Galvante said during the forum that the larger number plates that are being proposed under the new law are not final, and may even become smaller. “We just produced a sample [number plate] so we could test if it matches the 15-meter requirement that the law says. As far as we could determine, it is possible that we could make the plates even smaller than what we imagined”.

During the forum, the LTO ASEC also shared their position with regards to the design of the front-mounted plates, after motorcycle rider groups of big and small bikes shared their sentiments. Motorcycle manufacturers were also present to express their opinion, with visuals of what a regular motorcycle would look like, including the technical challenges, if a bigger number plate becomes a requirement.

“Our primary concern is safety,” Galvante said. “With regards to metal plates, we are not yet final on that. We just made some versions if ever needed... In fact, we are in the process of again, validating, and seeking recommendations, especially [from] those affected, if there's a much better version,” said Galvante in Filipino. The LTO ASEC however, reiterated that, “We cannot go more than what is required by the law, nor go below the provision[s] of the law.”

No more

Decals or RFID?

Under the final version of Republic Act 11235, Section 3 (e) clearly defines what a "number plate" should be. It is defined as a “regular motor vehicle license plate issued by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) for a motorcycle, bearing the standard alphanumeric characters in accordance with Republic Act No. 4136, as amended, otherwise known as the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.”

Refering to the provision, Galvante said that, “in fact, one of these are 'decals'. Actually, this is one of the options that we want to announce if this complies with the provision[s] of the law”. If deemed amenable under the law, the LTO is pushing for the adoption of an RFID system on motorcycle number plates. “The one thing we would want to be included is the requirement of an RFID. In fact, this is already being implemented on 4-wheeled vehicle number plates.”

One thing is clear, the LTO assured the motorcycle riding public that they are against the use of front-mounted metal plates because of safety concerns. It is not yet clear whether it will be stickers/decals or RFID for the front plate as required by RA 11235. After the forum, Motopinas.com briefly met with Assistant Secretary Galvante to ask when the deliberations on the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) will be. He confirmed that they are mandated to formulate the IRR within 90 days upon the enactment of the RA11235. As for the rider groups, they will let the law take its course and hold the LTO and Senator JV Ejercito to their word that the safety of the riders will be put in top priority.