Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago is set to file a resolution today in the senate asking for a senate investigation of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and its extremely controversial billion-peso new vehicle plates program.

After reports of new vehicle plates getting easily damaged by floodwaters and mismatched LTO-issued bolts that are costing motorists thousands of pesos have surfaced, Santiago has joined senators Alan Peter CayetanoRalph RectoRamon Revilla Jr., and House counterparts Winston Castelo and Rodolfo T. Albano III in criticizing the LTO for the Php 3.8-billion license standardization program that is causing problems for motorists.

"The LTO and DOTC must provide car plates that can withstand flood and other usual road hazards, especially since the country is vulnerable to typhoons. It is ridiculous for the LTO to impose a costly fine of P5,000 if the security bolts are not attached to the new license plates, when car owners have complained that these supposedly standard bolts do not even fit their car," said Santiago.

The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), which handles the LTO, says on their website that ‘New plates will cost the same as existing plates, which is P 450.00 for 4-wheeled motor vehicles.’

This does not take into account the cost of customizing installation of the new plates if the LTO-issued bolts that must be used do not fit, which some forums say could reach as high as Php 2,500.

"The faulty license plates and unreliable security bolts do not justify the billions of pesos in taxpayers' money spent for the project, and the high price that the vehicle owners have to pay," added Santiago.

In light of this issue, Senator Santiago is also calling on government agencies to be more conscientious in choosing contractors for government projects.