It looks like the country's license plate woes will soon be answered after the Land Transportation Office (LTO) announced that the new license plates are expected to arrive some time in March 2018.
Recently, the government agency issued the notice of award (NOA) to the winning bidder that will produce the new license plates. The winning bidder is Trojan Computer Forms Manufacturing Corporation and J.H. Tonnjes E.A.S.T. GmbH & Co KG Joint Venture.
According to a well-placed source, the German-backed manufacturer will produce the new license plates locally with imported materials.
This was made possible after Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade approved the request for additional funds to be included in LTO's 2017 budget which amounted to Php 1 billion. This in turn, allowed the LTO the procurement of license plates in the amount of Php 978.8 million.
LTO Chief and Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante reassured the public that the agency is on top of the situation and is proceeding with the procurement of license plates.
It will be recalled that the 2013 procurement of Motor Vehicle (MV) /Motorcycle (MC) plates was questioned before the courts and the Commission on Audit, with the cases still pending to this day. The newly procured license plates should have covered the supply from 2014-2018.
Moreover, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order last June 2016 which prevented the LTO and then Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) from releasing and distributing 700,000 license plates turned over by the Bureau of Customs. The reason, being that the license plates' supplier importer failed to pay the required customs duties.