Department of Transportation officials led by Secretary Art Tugade conducted an inspection of the local plate manufacturing facilities provided by Trojan Computer Forms Manufacturing Corporation and JH. Tonnjes E.A.S.T. GmbH & Co KG Joint Venture, the new consortium that will manufacture plates for the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to continue implementation of the much-delayed Plate Modernization Program.

The new Philippine-German consortium secured the contract to produce license plates in the Philippines late last year and initially expected to begin production by March. Regulatory requirements and late equipment arrival has however delayed this. The new facility features seven units of Manual Embossing Machines, which were delivered last February 26, 2018.

Based on the contract, it included only five (5) manual plate making machines, but the contractor added two (2) more for temporary use at no additional cost.

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Trojan Computer Forms Manufacturing Corporation and JH. Tonnjes E.A.S.T. GmbH Joint Venture, who won the contract for the procurement of Motor Vehicle (MV) and Motorcyle (MC) license plates to address the backlog from July 2016 and beyond. 

"We don't want a repeat of the previous predicament we had. That is why we decided to localize production of plates to avoid further delays on our commitment to the motoring public. With the proper equipment and training, we can do it," said Tugade.

DOTr, Land Transport official inspect local plate manufacturing facility

The current seven units of manual embossing machines are capable of producing 22,000 plates per day, at full production capacity. The machines have already been calibrated and are already operational.

An additional Automated Embossing Machine will also be delivered in July, and will be made operational in August 2018. It is rated to produce 12,000 plates per day.

According to a well-placed source who wished anonymity, "the high-security facility features manufacturing equipment from Germany and materials for plates are of high-quality international standards."

The facility is still in the setting up stage and will take about a month or so to make sure there are no impediments to hamper the efficient production and release of plates to motorists.

DOTr plates

The manufactured license plates will also undergo stringent inspection based on international quality assurance standards. 

While LTO Chief and Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante earlier assured the motoring public that no additional burden will be given to them for the new plates, this is still uncertain as the program is still surrounded by numerous legal impediments brought about by inefficiencies of the previous administration.

"Secretary Tugade saw some points to improve during inspection, I have taken note of these and will implement the necessary adjustments and changes," said Galvante, LTO Chief.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra III, LTO Executive Director Romeo Vera Cruz, and other road sector officials of the DOTr were also present during the inspection.