(PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler)

MANILA – There is a need to increase the budget of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to expedite the production of motorcycle license plates and eliminate backlog.

In a statement on Monday, Senator JV Ejercito lamented that license plate backlog is at 14 million pieces.

Dadagdagan natin ‘yung budget para mas mapabilis ang kanilang production. Iyon naman ang sabi ni LTO chief Atty. (Jay Art) Tugade, na kaya naman nila in two to three years ‘yan, basta meron lang budget for the production at kung rear plate lang ang kanilang proproblemahin, kakayanin (We have to increase their budget so they can expedite their production. According to LTO chief Atty. Tugade, they can do that in two to three years provided there is enough budget for the production and if it will just be rear plates, they can do it),” he said.

Ejercito has filed Senate Bill 159 to amend Republic Act 11235, or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act.

The measure aims to replace the mandatory installation of oversized license plates in front of motorcycles with a radio-frequency identification scanner system.

He said double license plates would make it difficult for the LTO to resolve its backlog and may result in increased motorcycle-assisted crimes.

Sa akin, mas importante na lahat ng motor, mabigyan na natin ng plaka, kahit rear plate muna (For me, what is important is for all motorcycles be given license plates even if just the rear plates),” Ejercito said.

In April 2019, former president Rodrigo Duterte, a motorcycle enthusiast, ordered the LTO to suspend the implementation of the double license plate law due to safety concerns of riders.

He explained that placing a plate in front of the motorcycle is dangerous because of its sharp edge.

“It could be plastic or aluminum but still tutusok 'yan sa helmet mo (it can pierce through your helment). Delikado (It’s dangerous),” Duterte said then. (PNA)