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Solon tells LTO: Stop issuing new license plates

/ 05:07 PM June 23, 2015

The chairman of the House of Representatives Metro Manila development committee has urged the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to stop the issuance of the new license plates, the cost of which is supposedly burdensome to the public.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo said a probe led by his committee bared that the new standardized license plates were imported all the way from Netherlands, thus costing government custom duties in importation.

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Castelo surmised that there was a delay in the release of the standardized license plates because these were still imported.

Although the P3.8-billion contract with joint venture Power Plates Development Concepts Inc. and Dutch firm J. Knierem BV-Goes was inked as early as 2013, it was only January this year when the LTO and the Department of Transportation and Communications formally released the new license plates to replace the old and existing 16 million vehicle plates.

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The new license plates, valid until 2017, have a black and white design with tamper-resistant locks and screws and reflectorized sheeting.

Castelo said the cost of each license plate at P450 for four-wheeled vehicles and P120 for tricycles and motorcycles was a burden to the vehicle owners.

Ang production pala ng license plates ay ginagawa sa Netherlands. Ini-import pa. We still pay custom duties. Napakamahal ’yung cost at P450 each,” Castelo said.

He added that the delivery for the new license plates was spread out every five years, beating the purpose of standardizing the country’s license plates to weed out “colorum” vehicles.

“During the investigation of the committee we found out that the delivery is spread in five years. How can that happen that the intention is to get uniformity of plate numbers if the delivery is spread in five years?” Castelo said.

The solon urged the LTO to stop the issuance of the license plates or at least rebid the project.

“The people are shelling out P450 pesos and if there is 16 million vehicles, just imagine the amount. We will be recommending to stop it or have it rebidded,” Castelo said.

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Castelo has filed House Bill No. 5888 called the “License Plate Renewal/Replacement Act,” which requires LTO to issue new car plates every 12 years to avoid unnecessary expenses.

“Just to stop the practice na every administration may bagong license plate … After 12 years, sturdy pa naman ang license plates. Kung na-chip off, palitan lang natin, but not the entire fleet,” Castelo said.

The Senate has also conducted an inquiry on the standardized license system, calling it a “milking cow” that serves no purpose of benefiting the public.

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TAGS: J. Knierem BV-Goes, Land Transportation Office, license plates, LTO, Power Plates Development Concepts, Winston Castelo
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