MOTORCYCLE owners nationwide can heave a sigh of relief. For the moment.
Land Transportation Office (LTO) Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante has issued a memorandum deferring the implementation of Republic Act (RA) 11235, or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act.
One of its provisions requires an owner to secure two plates for his or her motorcycle, one to be placed at the front and the other to be placed at the back.
“In view of the availability of the motorcycle plates and decals compounded by the continuing health crisis brought about by the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic, necessitating the imposition of quarantine measures throughout the country, resulted in the limited operational capacity of our office,” Galvante said in the memo.
The memo was addressed to all regional directors, assistant regional directors and officials and employees of the agency.
“...defer until further notice the implementation of the IRRs’ (implementing rules and regulations) ‘plate provisions,’ or those which relate to the requirement of motorcycles to have number plates at the front and rear, is hereby formalized,” the memo read.
Under RA 11235, violators will face a fine of not less than P50,000 but not more than P100,000 if they don’t install the two plates on their motorcycles.
But once the IRRs are in effect, the front plate, which is a decal made of sticker-like material, will be 135 millimeters (mm) wide and 85 mm long. The back plate will be a metal plate that is 235 mm wide and 135 mm long.
RA 11235 divided Cebuano motorists when President Rodrigo Duterte signed it into law on March 8, mandating the LTO to determine the font style and font size of the bigger, readable and color-coded number plates for motorcycles.
The new law aims “to secure and safeguard its citizenry from crimes committed with the use of motorcycles through bigger, readable and color-coded number plates and identification marks.”
Some said it was a matter of compliance, with one saying if a person can afford an buy a motorcycle then that person can afford to an extra plate.
However, another doubted the new measure’s effectiveness in eliminating crimes conducted by persons on motorcycles, saying authorities should instead install more security cameras along roads.
Meanwhile, the memo also gives motorcycle dealers and new owners leeway on their latest transactions.
According to the memo, “the reporting of the sale or disposition by the owner of a motorcycle to the LTO within three days upon sale or disposition and the registration by the new owner of the motorcycle within five days from acquisition of ownership shall be extended for a period of 60 days from this issuance.”
In another development, LTO 7 Director Victor Caindec announced that they had to temporarily close their Lapu-Lapu City Extension Office after one of its job-order (JO) employee tested positive for Covid-19.
He said they’ve known about it since June 29 and they’ve been conducting contact tracing.
He said they await the swab results of the other employees, while they continue to disinfect the whole office so operations can resume.
Caindec assured that the infected JO employee, like all other JO employees at the extension office, worked at the back of the office and didn’t transact with the public.
As of July 4, seven employees of the LTO 7 have tested positive for Covid-19. One has recovered. (HBL, PJB)