Yesterday we published a news item regarding the supposedly blanket implementation of Joint Administrative Order 2014-01 with regards to a ban on plate related covers, brackets or accessories under Section II-e.

Needless to say the story went viral amongst car owners and enthusiasts as the initial statement made by the LTO Spokesperson, Jason Salvador, on a TV news report meant that they would have to remove any kind of plate covers including the clear acrylic or glass types in order to avoid the hassle and the subsequent fine. The same spokesperson later made another "clarification" regarding the issue through a radio interview, differentiating the implementation of the said regulation between new cars issued with the new plates and older vehicles with existing plates.

We got in touch with Robertson Sy Tan, the president of Blade Auto Center, regarding the matter. Blade carries a wide variety of auto accessories, some of the most popular being clear plate covers and plate frames.

Filipinos like to take care of their plates using these covers and accessories,” said Tan. “It's also the same reason that Filipinos buy casings or covers for their smartphones”.

Blade Auto Center is the Philippines' largest chain of specialty auto accessories stores and has numerous branches in most major shopping malls in Metro Manila and beyond.

In a text message, Tan relayed to us the position of Blade Auto Center:

While we fully support the objectives of LTO, universally banning accessories like license plate frames may not be the solution. [The] LTO can set guidelines for accessories that will achieve its objectives of security. Not all plate accessories pose a threat; most even help protect the license plate from damage. Guidelines will help both motorists and LTO arrive at a compromise.

What do you think of Blade Auto Center's position regarding the plate cover/accessory issue?