MMDA not apprehending registered vehicles without plates
Calling the Land Transportation Office’s (LTO) “no plate, no travel” policy unconstitutional and “un-Christian,” the head of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has said the agency would not apprehend new vehicles without plates despite the start of the implementation of the policy on Wednesday.
“Our traffic enforcers and those from the 17 local government units in Metro Manila have agreed that we will not apprehend brand new cars without plate numbers,” MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino said on Wednesday, noting that they would like to allow people to go home to their provinces for the holidays.
Meeting members of the media in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Tolentino said that LTO’s policy might be unconstitutional, considering that it would deprive an individual of the right to use his own property without due process of law.
“It is stated in the Constitution that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law and their new car is their property, which is registered and has insurance,” the MMDA chair added.
He also called the policy untimely and “un-Christian” because it would prevent some motorists from going home to their respective provinces in observance of the Lenten season.
“We are hoping that the LTO will give some consideration to the motorists especially that they are going home to their provinces with their family,” Tolentino added.
The MMDA chair said that it has not been the fault of the motorists if their newly bought cars still had no license plates despite being registered with the LTO. The vehicle owners “are only awaiting the issuance of their plates.”
“They (owners of brand-new vehicles) should not be penalized for not having their license plates on time, they already have their conduction stickers. They are paying their monthly amortization and have no deliberate intention to violate the law,” he added.
It is also the time of the year when people should be allowed to move freely, especially with the shortage of provincial buses, according to Tolentino. “We must also consider the forthcoming arrival of Supertyphoon ‘Chedeng,’ we must move people immediately out of harm’s way utilizing safe vehicles,” he added.
According to the MMDA chief, the apprehension of new cars without plates caused traffic in New York, Cubao, in Quezon City on Wednesday morning.
“This will result in traffic congestion especially along Edsa since motorists are asked to stop by LTO enforcers,” Tolentino noted.
The MMDA chair said they were not blaming anybody but that they just wanted to make travel safe and convenient for motorists going home to the provinces.
He added that the agency has already sent a correspondence to the LTO regarding the matter.
“I think those who should be apprehended are old cars with no plate numbers,” Tolentino noted. SM/RC
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