The Land Transportation Office (LTO) wants to re-implement the No Plate, No Travel policy by August 1. The policy was suspended last year due to delays in the implementation of the agency's Plate Standardization Program. The agency only started releasing the new license plates in May, a delay of over eight months from its September 1, 2013 target.
A fine of PhP5,000 is imposed on the violation of "Failure to attach or improper attachment/tampering of authorized motor vehicle license plates and/or third plate sticker."
The controversial Plate Standardization Program costs the government PhP3.185-B, with the supply contract awarded only in August of 2013 to J. Knieriem B.V. Goes and Power Plates Development Concepts, Inc. (JKG-PPDCI). The program aimed to increase security, however the DOTC made the schematics for the new plate designs publicly available on their website.
Citing that 15,000 new plates for motor vehicles and 50,000 new plates for motorcycles have already been made available. The agency is blaming car and motorcycle dealers for delays in claiming the new plates as some reportedly prefer to claim in bulk.
The 15,000 plates are not enough to cover even a month of new car sales. The formal auto industry has reported a combined sales of 104,264 units from January to May; with a 22,815 figure for the month of May alone.
A close friend wishing to be anonymous, purchased a brand new car in February, has yet to receive his new license plates. An LTO Advisory last February stated plate numbers will be automatically assigned for registration transactions of brand new vehicles from September 1, 2013 onwards. He had to pay Php15,000 to request for a customized alphanumeric combination under the agency's Optional Motor Vehicle Special Plate (OMVSP) program.
The anonymous source also claims that LTO employees are asking for an additional Php5,000 through the dealer to facilitate processing and release of the new plates. This information was confirmed with several sources. A follow-up with the dealer today returned a reply from the LTO that it will take another two months before his plates will be available.
The LTO and the Department of Transport of Communications (DOTC) are being criticized by motorists and car enthusiasts for the ambiguous and vague provisions on modification of vehicles recently added to their revised fines and penalties for land transport violations, and the confusion with the ban on plate covers and frames.
The ban on plate covers and frames was provision included in the Plate Standardization Program under Section 6, which says "no other license plate, plate cover, frame may be attached to and/or around the license plate."
LTO spokesman Jason Salvador later clarified in verbal statements that "only new series license plates are covered by the ban."