MMDA favors proposed ban on solons’ use of ‘8’ license plate
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Emerson Carlos has expressed support for Navotas Rep. Tobias Tiangco’s recent proposal to ban congressmen from using the number “8” protocol license plates issued to them.
Carlos, who was reappointed MMDA officer in charge on Friday, told reporters on Tuesday that he was in favor of the proposal because “it does not bring any advantage to the ordinary people.”
He pointed out, however, that while MMDA traffic constables may find it “intimidating” to apprehend errant motorists whose vehicles bear protocol plates, this has never stopped them from doing so.
“Actually, we have apprehended a lot of (vehicles with) low-numbered plates, especially those that are speeding. It’s intimidating but we try to be brave,” Carlos said.
He also added that the problem has partly been solved with the MMDA’s implementation of its no-contact policy. As of Monday, 19,480 motorists have been caught through the agency’s closed-circuit television cameras violating various traffic rules and regulations.
Should Tiangco’s House Bill No. 413 be passed into law, it would prohibit congressmen from using the pair of “8” protocol plates issued to them. According to Tiangco, the use of these plates has been associated with privilege and abusive behavior.
“It has become difficult for motorists and the public to identify the individuals concerned as thousands of protocol plates are issued to various government officials,” he said.
Under Executive Order No. 400, key government officials, from the President down to regional trial court judges, are issued protocol plates by the Land Transportation Office.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a chance interview yesterday that he would leave the matter to lawmakers. “For us in the executive department, the President said that if possible, we should not use our [protocol] plates. The President has a message he wants to say to those serving in government, especially for those in power—do not flaunt your extravagance,” he said. With a report from Arianne Cardiño
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