New license plates out April – DOTC
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - February 23, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The new license plates for motor vehicles and motorcycles patterned after those in Europe and Singapore are expected to be released starting April.

Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said they have issued a notice to PPI-JKG Philippines Inc. to proceed with the P3.85-billion license plate standardization program.

Abaya said the release of the new license plates in late April is timely, with road safety concerns being highlighted amid the recent spate of accidents involving public utility vehicles.

Abaya said the project would also help ease traffic congestion with the start of the construction of major road projects in the metropolis.

“The security features of the new plates will help weed out ‘colorum (unauthorized)’ vehicles from the roads, which will better assure the safety of the riding public. They will also help in reducing the anticipated traffic in Metro Manila. Of course, these features will also enable authorities to enforce criminal and traffic laws more effectively,” he said.

The release of the new license plates scheduled last September was delayed due to concerns about the release of funds by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the five-year project.

This was after the joint committee of the DOTC and Land Transportation Office (LTO) awarded to the joint venture of the Netherlands’ J. Knieriem B.V. Goes (JKG) and Power Plates Development Concepts Inc. the five-year contract for the project.

However, the release of the new license plates was delayed until the differences between the Department of Finance and DBM were resolved.

The Senate is set to look into the delay of the license plate project, as well as other projects of the DOTC.

Sen. Francis Escudero filed a resolution seeking a congressional inquiry into the delay of the projects of the DOTC.

Escudero said the public is getting frustrated with the failure of the DOTC to undertake projects such as the purchase of additional coaches for the MRT-3 and the supply of license plates and vehicle registration stickers.

The license plates would feature the new alphanumeric design such as three-letter and four-number combination for motor vehicles and two-letter and five-number combination for motorcycles.

Currently, motor vehicle license plates have three letters and three numbers, while motorcycles have two letters and four numbers.

The current license plate design and font has been in use since 1981.

Private motor vehicle plates would sport a new black-and-white design, similar to those used in most countries around the world.

On the other hand, for-hire vehicles or PUV plates will retain the black and yellow scheme.

The new plates will have tamper-resistant locks and screws that will permanently attach the plates to motor vehicles and motorcycles.

“This will prevent their transfer from one vehicle to another, which is done in perpetrating crimes such as car theft and in operating ‘colorum’ PUVs,” the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) said.

A “third plate” windshield sticker would replace the current sticker that is renewed during annual registration, and would indicate the vehicle’s license plate number.

For PUVs, their authorized routes would be indicated on the “third plate,” making it more difficult for out-of-line “colorum” operations and plate tampering.

With these security features, it will be easier for the LTO, the Land Transportation and Franchising Board (LTFRB) and other law enforcement agencies to rid the roads of “colorum” vehicles.

Among the other efforts of the DOTC, LTFRB and LTO are the possible imposition of stiffer penalties for “colorum” operators, including a P1-million fine, as well as the use of technology to zero in on violators. – With Marvin Sy

ABAYA DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATION EUROPE AND SINGAPORE FRANCIS ESCUDERO KNIERIEM B LICENSE NEW PLATES
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