MANILA, Philippines--First, the good news: The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has announced the arrival of a fresh supply of registration stickers, days after it admitted that there was a shortage in registration forms and stickers because of the sudden increase in the number of newly purchased vehicles.
But the bad news is that the bulk of the stickers would be distributed to car owners in Metro Manila, where the majority of vehicles nationwide are registered.
This means that vehicle owners in other parts of the country will have to wait until the first week of March when more stickers are expected to arrive.
?It is expected that by the first week of March, the availability of supply shall have normalized,? LTO Chair Arturo Lomibao said in a statement.
On Tuesday, the LTO said that it had received about 20,000 registration stickers.
Lomibao also said that he was looking into the shortage of license plates.
?As of today, there are 1,600 plates which will be distributed in Metro Manila where [these are] more in demand,? he said.
He added that he had ordered the personnel in charge of manufacturing license plates to work round-the-clock this weekend to ensure that the agency?s operations would return to normal by next month.
Last week, the LTO announced that it had run out of registration stickers and license plates following an unexpected increase in the number of new cars and motorcycles in the country.
Based on LTO estimates, the Philippines has about six million cars.
Problems in bidding out the contract for the supply of registration stickers, which is done every six months, also led to delays in production, contributing to the shortage.
As a result, Lomibao ordered a moratorium on the apprehension of unregistered new vehicles as well as those whose registration are due for renewal.
This means that traffic enforcers cannot go after new vehicles without LTO stickers and license plates. At the same time, they cannot apprehend owners of vehicles with license plates ending in 1 and 2 who have yet to renew their registration.
The schedule of a vehicle?s registration is based on the last digit of its plate number. Those whose plates end in 1 should have their car registered in January; 2, in February; 3, in March and so on.