Large front plates now required by law for big and small bikes

Our worst fear has just materialized as the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, based heavily on Senate Bill 1397 authored by Senators Richard 'Dick' Gordon and Vicente 'Tito' Sotto III was signed and approved by President Rodrigo Duterte on March 8. Below is a copy of the document released today, March 14.

Now a law, Republic Act 11235 or as motorcycle riders dubbed “Doble Plaka Law”, will require all types of motorcycles big or small, to have bigger number plates in the front and back, and sets fines of up to PhP100,000 and imprisonment for violators of the said law.

Our worst nightmare: Duterte signs into law “Doble Plaka” bill image

Under Section 5, the LTO is tasked to issue number plates readable from a distance of at least 15 meters for every motorcycle. The LTO shall also devise a color scheme for every region where the motorcycle is registered. Also, under Section 9 of the new law, when a motorcycle is used as an accessory in a crime, "the owner, driver, backrider or passenger who participated in the same" shall be punishable up to Reclucion Perpetua or 40 years in jail.

Motorcycle groups as well as motorcycle dealers and manufacturers are against the said law, arguing that it is costly to implement, as there are no provisions to fit a front license plate on any motorcycle; unsafe, as a front mounted license plate may come loose and injure its rider; as well as discriminatory, as the move is meant to make motorcycles easier to identify at the behest of the majority of the riding public. According to the motorcycle riders, it is clear and blatant discrimination against them as it already ‘profiles’ all the innocent motorcycle riders as criminals.