The license plates for motorcycles are expected to run out by June, while those for four-wheeled vehicles by July, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) said on Wednesday.
LTO chief Jay Art Tugade said that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has been informed of the looming problem as the agency is in charge of the procurement of the license plates amounting to P4.5 billion.
“Insofar as the license plates are concerned, based on the forecast of the LTO, license plates will run out for motorcycles by June, and by July, the license plates for motor vehicles will be depleted as well,” he said in an ANC interview.
As a solution to this, Tugade said the LTO is working on a contingency where they would allow motorcycle and vehicle owners to temporarily issue their own license plates.
“For example, motorcycle owners, in the absence of a plate number, they can create a plate number and on the plate number, it will say the motor vehicle file number of the motorcycle,” he said.
Asked if this would not make the Philippines more prone to crimes as anybody could just put a different number or letter in their own plates, Tugade said that it is possible.
“You know what, that is precisely the reason for having plate numbers. I agree with you, that could be a possibility. However, we do need to be able to identify motor vehicles and that is one way for us to identify motor vehicles,” he said.
“Similar to a brand new motor vehicle, a car, wherein the identification mark is the conduction sticker. We will be applying the same concept to motorcycles in the event that we fully run out of motorcycle plates,” he added.
Tugade said that the LTO will check the owners’ Certificate of Registration which contains the file number to determine the identity of the vehicle.
The LTO chief thus appealed to the DOTr to fast-track the procurement of the license plates to avoid further problems.
Meanwhile, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista assured the public that there's enough time to procure the license before the current stock runs out.
"Kaya kailangan na rin natin magkaroon ng procurement, kaya napagsabay na natin itong plaka at driver’s license eh," said Bautista in Joseph Morong's 24 Oras report on Wednesday.
(We already need to have a procurement, and we will do it together with the driver's license.)
House Deputy Minority Leader Bernadette Herrera of Bagong Henerasyon party-list has filed a resolution seeking a probe amid the plastic card shortage for driver's licenses.
"We want to know specifically and in detail where during the procurement process the Land Transportation Office keeps encountering problems over and over again.” said Herrera in a statement.
“We also want to know who were incompetent, negligent and grossly negligent in their duties and responsibilities because they should be held liable and accountable," added the lawmaker.
In October last year, LTO said it aims to clear up to 90% of its license plate backlogs by the end of 2023. —KG/ VAL, GMA Integrated News