Several rider groups have assembled at the historic Mendiola Peace Arch near Malacañang earlier today to request President Duterte to veto the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2017, also known as the Doble Plaka law, that is awaiting his signature.
The rider groups, composed of Riders of the Philippines, Arangkada Riders Alliance, the Motorcycle Dealers Association of the Philippines, and several other groups assembled at the gates of the bridge to voice their opposition against the impending law.
At the protest, the group brought along a motorcycle to display, with the proposed new plate mounted in front and behind. The display motorcycle was meant to show just how large the proposed plate is, particularly the difficulty there will be with regard to mounting it.
Speakers like Robert Perillo, Rod Cruz, and Yob Bolanos took the opportunity to explain riders' concerns with regard to the impending law. First and foremost, the group made it clear that this is not simply about aesthetics. In fact, the group has no complaint with regard to the larger rear plate.
It's main point of contention is the front plate and difficulty with mounting it. Rod Cruz of Arangkada Riders Alliance, highlighted how, before the plate is mounted, the bracket that will hold it must be registered and verified by the LTO. This counts as a modification, and as such, will come with its own fee. Once approved by the LTO, only then can the front plate be mounted.
Edwin Go, president of the Motorcycle Dealers Association of the Philippines, in turn, highlighted how there are many different models and styles of motorcycles in the country. Each one will require a different kind of bracket and method of mounting to avoid blocking the beam of the headlight or a vital function of motorcycle operation.
Yob Bolanos brought up the various safety risks presented by the front plate. Various factors from debris to the very vibration the front of the motorcycle experiences may cause the plate to come loose and pose a danger to the rider of the motorcycle and those around him.
This protest, which comes just two days after another protest regarding the Doble Plaka law held at the EDSA Revolution Monument last Saturday, hopes to present the motorcycle riding community's united stand against what they perceive to be a law prejudicial to all motorcycle riders of both big and small bikes. It is hoped that the protest will draw the attention of the President, a self-confessed rider, to veto the bill. If the President does not sign or act on the bill, it will lapse into law on March 8, 2019.