Bill now awaiting PRRD's signature

Riders' concerns over the 'Doble Plaka' (Senate Bill 1397) bill, now awaiting President Duterte's signature, could be addressed by a Senator when it comes to finalizing its implementing rules and regulations.

Yesterday, during the Republika Ride hosted by the Breakfast Ride Community and the City Government of Malolos Bulacan, met up with Senator JV Ejercito, an avid motorcycle rider, who was also participating in the event. During our brief talk, we asked him what he thought about the provisions of the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act (SB 1397) or the 'Doble Plaka' bill that has already passed the Bicameral Committee and is just awaiting President Duterte's signature. The Senator confirmed that he was “saddened” by the recent developments, particularly the changes implemented when he was not present during the bicam.

One of the principal authors, Senator Richard 'Dick' Gordon, had insisted on certain provisions, particularly the requirement of two plates. Several rider groups were critical of the two-plate requirement, citing possible concerns with regard to related costs, proper fitting, and safety.

Discussing about the possible repercussions to motorcyclists if it becomes a law, the senator said that he will "take care" of those issues during the deliberations on the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), which will need to be discussed should it becomes a law. Little other details have emerged on the controversial bill, particularly specifics on whether it will be smaller plates in front for all types of motorcycles, or different regulations for small and big bikes.

Senator will fix

Strong opposition

Last December, members of the Riders of the Philippines (ROTP) rode together to the Senate Building in Pasay City to hand over their position letter regarding the "discriminatory" provisions of the bill, particularly the Senate’s Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2017 (SB 1397). The group is opposed to the provision for fitting two plates on the grounds of additional cost, lack of fitment provisions in current and past motorcycle models, safety, and the potential discrimination placed on riders by requiring them to fit larger plates.

Riders, manufacturers, and dealers have already expressed concern over the provision, citing that a front-mounted plate may be unsafe for the rider if improperly mounted; its size is costly to implement; difficult to fit in both current and past models; and could be seen as discriminatory to motorcycle riders, with the main pruprose behind the bill to thwart crime perpetrated by motorcycle-riding criminals.