LTO chief, ASec. Edgar Galvante suspends doble plaka, extends time to report transfer of ownership

Riders worrying about Doble Plaka, particularly the transfer of ownership can breathe a little easier for now. A new memo from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is suspending the implementation of RA 11235 until further notice. Provisions of RA11235, or simply called Doble Plaka Law, will be suspended according to the memo dated July 1, 2020. And to ease riders' worries, the LTO is extending the the report of sale / transfer of ownership of motorcycles to 60 days.

In the memo, LTO chief, Assistant Secretary, Edgar Galvante, cited limited operational capacity in the LTO brought about by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as the reason for the provisions' suspension. The LTO is the government agency tasked to implement RA 11235.

Besides the issuance of new plates, another controversial provision covers the transfer of ownership. In RA 11235, the new owner only has 5 days (including holidays and weekends) to transfer a motorcycle’s title to his or her name. The seller, on the other hand, has just 3 calendar days to report the sale from the date of sale. Due to the short window, and the limited operating capacity of the agency, there is now a 60-day extension to facilitate the process, beginning July 1, 2020.

LTO suspends ‘doble plaka’, gives 60-days for transfer of ownership image

“It is also directed that the periods in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the mandatory updating of records, specifically: 1. The reporting of the sale or disposition by the owner of a motorcycle to the LTO within 3 days upon sale or disposition; and 2. The registration by the new owner of the motorcycle within 5 days from acquisition of ownership shall be extended for a period of 60 days from this issuance, to allow the owners ample time to process their transactions while observing social distancing and health and sanitary protocols," the memo said.

To comply with the law and its short window for transfer of ownership, many riders have flocked to the LTO and its district offices nationwide upon resumption of operations recently. After all, the law prescribes penalties of up to PhP100,000 and jail time of up to 6 years for non-compliance. Unfortunately, with some district offices forced to close due to a positive coronavirus test, the limited daily quota of emissions tests per testing center, and the sheer volume of riders wishing to comply has made the process nearly impossible. One rider group was quick to notice this problem and called for the suspension of emission tests for the meantime.

On Wednesday, July 1, 2020, the motorcycle rider group, Riders of the Philippines (ROTP), filed for a Temporary Restraining Order vs RA 11235 at the Quezon City regional trial court, citing that the law is unconstitutional and brands motorcycle riders as criminals.