Measure filed barring license plate renewals
A Liberal Party lawmaker has filed an “anti-Abaya” bill which would ban the mandatory replacement of vehicle license plates within 12 years, or the incumbency of two administrations.
Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo filed House Bill No. 5888 to end what he called the “whimsical or capricious” decision to change license plates with every change in administration.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya, a senior LP leader, has taken the system of replacing licenses to a new level in the Aquino administration by ordering the forced replacement of all license plates, including perfectly good ones on older vehicles.
Sen. Ralph Recto, an LP party mate, earlier called on Abaya to stop the P3.8-billion license plate replacement program under which registered car owners are forced to pay P450 each (P70 to the transportation department and P380 to the designated private supplier) for new license plates and for the replacement of their current plates with the same numbers.
“Why order the mass cancellation of 9 million motor vehicle plates just because a new version is introduced?” said Recto, who noted that in previous administrations, only new car buyers were forced to pay for new car plates.
Aside from questions on funding, the new license replacements have been widely criticized for their poor quality.
Castelo said that replacing vehicle plates was an “unnecessary expenditure and a burden” on vehicle owners.
“License plate replacement should only be effected if there are sufficient grounds for doing so. If the license plate does not interfere in any way with vehicle identification, then it should remain in use and valid unless the same already far exceeded its intended lifespan, is severely deteriorated and hard to read,” he said.
Castelo said that a license plate could last beyond 12 years, which is why his bill authorizes agencies to extend the renewal or replacement dates of the license plates.
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