Last Wednesday, July 5, operatives from the Quezon City Police District—District Special Operations Unit (QCPD-DSOU), the Philippine National Police Anti-Carnapping Unit (PNP-ANCAR), and the LTO-National Capital Region (LTO-NCR), busted a 'fake plates' operation in Quezon City. Following the operation, DOTr secretary Arthur Tugade lauded the LTO and the PNP divisions involved for their continuous crackdown on illegal plate manufacturers.

“We are not tolerating these acts. Whoever they are, they should be held criminally liable. Pag gumawa kayo ng kalokohang labag sa batas, batas din ang uusig sa inyo (If you continue doing these illegal activities, the law will come after you),” said secretary Tugade.

During the buy-bust operation, the agencies involved made two arrests, along with the recovery and seizure of materials and tools to make the fake plate numbers. On site were twenty six motor vehicle number plates, three motorcycle plates, twenty-five metal sheets, a cold laminated board, a laptop, a manual pressing machine, a logbook and receipts of transactions.

Arrested on the site were Jahaziel Alcantara and Kristine Nemenzo from Sitio Veterans, Brgy. Bagong Silangan, Quezon City. The couple will face charges for violations of Presidential Decree 1730 (Syndicated printing, manufacture, distribution or use of fake LTO documents and plates) and Article 2, Section 31 of Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.

“While we are trying to address the current backlog in the production and distribution of license plates, we are also serious in apprehending elements who illegally produce, distribute and use fake plates,” said Edgar Galvante, LTO Assistant Secretary.

At the same time, the LTO is continuing to normalize the process for the production and distribution of license plates. At the moment, there are at least one million plates still on backlog. The LTO aims to issue plates with additional security features by September, 2017. The LTO is also working on its proposal to produce plates locally in order to expedite production time and avoid shortages in the future.