The highly criticized and embattled Motor Vehicle License Plate Standardization Program by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) regained some footing after a favorable decision by the Supreme Court (SC) early this week.
By junking a May 2014 petition versus the ‘new vehicle license plates’ program, the SC supported the argument made by both agencies about the validity and legitimacy of the bidding process including the Php 3.8-billion contract price that was being questioned by various politicians.
“We welcome this decision by the Supreme Court. It validates the legality of the project, and more importantly, our intention of providing secure plates to the public for their own protection. It helps us continue in our drive to rid the streets of countless fake plates and to cleanse the database of falsified records,” said DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya.
The petition stated that the multi-billion peso contract did not have the sufficient funds since the General Appropriations Act (GAA) only indicated a budget of Php 187 million for the program.
Upon investigation by the SC, it was found that Congress allotted Php 4.8 billion for the implementation of the program in the 2014 national budget. As the project contract was entered into in February 2014, it falls into the effectivity of the 2014 GAA.