If you drive a vehicle that still doesn't have its plates from the previous supplier, well, here's an update. And it's not good.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has been advised by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to not issue any payments to the plate supplier that was awarded a 5-year contract under the Motor Vehicle License Plate Standardization Program (MVLPSP). The letter from the OSG came after LTO Chief, Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante, asked for legal advice on whether to pay supplier PPI-JKG which is composed of Power Plates Development Concepts, Inc. and J. Knieriem BV Power Plates.

The advice in the letter was simple: it would be wise to not pay yet.

Plate Problems: OSG advises LTO not to pay 2013-2018 supplier image

Apparently, there is an internal dispute in PPI-JKG as there are two parties that are claiming control of the company. The competing parties sent separate letters to the LTO with different General Information Sheets (GIS) showing discrepancies on who the shareholders, officers, and directors are, as well as different amounts in paid-up capital. Both parties also asked the LTO not to transact with the other.

The OSG stated that “it would be more prudent for the LTO to withhold any payment to PPI-JKG, Inc. pending the resolution of the dispute within PPI-JKG, Inc.”

The OSG further says that if the LTO were to pay the plate supplier, they could end up paying the wrong party and that the officials involved would be personally liable.

Plate Problems: OSG advises LTO not to pay 2013-2018 supplier image

PPI-JKG is the supplier that was supposed to deliver about 15 million new license plates from 2013 to 2018. These plates were supposed to be for motor vehicles that have had registrations renewed with the LTO, and PHP 450 was charged for the plate replacement under LTO MC 2014-1895.

The Commission on Audit (COA), however, moved against the MVLPSP, citing that the contract with PPI-JKG was a violation of Philippine procurement laws. COA pointed out that PPI-JKG didn't submit required and relevant tax-related and business-related documents. COA was also the government office that disallowed the collection of the PHP 450 as a plate replacement fee.

According to reports, only 4 million of the total 15 million plate contract has been fulfilled, but not without issues. The plates have been evaluated to be substandard or of lower quality than intended as the work was subcontracted to India and China. Issues such as the thinness of the metal, unreadable barcodes, and subpar paint on the embossed letters and numbers have been claimed by various reports.

The LTO has already started manufacturing their own plates at their East Avenue compound, but those plates cover new registrations and not the ones under the previous contract.

So, if you paid for plates within that period that hasn't arrived yet, it doesn't look like you'll be getting those anytime soon... if you still have the car, that is.