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By Neil Arwin Mercado, INQUIRER.net

The Land Transportation Office’s (LTO) proposed 2022 budget for the production of around 18 million motorcycle plates was not approved by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

LTO chief Edgar Galvante disclosed this Wednesday during the House hearing on the proposed budget of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

“Ang malaki po naming problema is ‘yung sa motorcycle. Sa projection po ng LTO, kailangan ng 18 million plates hanggang June 30, 2022. Bagamat humingi po tayo ng pondo, sa kasamaang palad hindi po tayo napagbigyan dito,” Galvante said.

Edgar Galvante, lto chief

(Our problem right now is the motorcycle plates. Based on LTO’s projection,  we would need 18 million plates until June 30, 2022. While we asked for funding, unfortunately, we were not granted the budget.)

Galvante said the LTO has so far produced 3.6 million motorcycle plates in accordance with Republic Act No. 11235 or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act which requires bigger, readable, and color-coded number plates and identification marks.

“’Yun po sanang kakulangan, gusto po sana natin itong i-contract out kasi po ‘yung capacity ng ating planta hindi kakayaning matugunan ‘yung bulk ng plaka ng motorsiklo,” Galvante said.

(We wish to have the shortage contracted out because our plants’ capacity cannot accommodate the bulk of motorcycle plates.)

“Kaya kung matutulungan po sana kami ng Kongreso na mahingi itong pondong ito,” he added.

(We are asking for Congress’ help for this budget to be given to us.)

Galvante, nonetheless, assured that there are no backlogs for plates of four-wheeled vehicles.

“Kung ‘yun sa plaka ng mga four-wheeled vehicles, ‘yun pong mga sasakyang narehistro starting July 2016 onwards up to the present, kumbaga current na po tayo sa mga plaka niyan,” Galvante said.ADVERTISEMENT

(We are up to date with number plates for four-wheeled vehicles. We have covered vehicles registered from July 2016 up to the present.)

“Kung meron pong bagong sasakyan na hindi nagiisport ng bagong plaka, maaaring makipag-ugnayan po sila sa kanilang mga dealers kasi malamang po nasa kanila nasa dealership na mga plaka nila,” he added.

(If there is a new vehicle that does not have new plates yet, they can coordinate with their dealers because it’s likely the plates are already with the dealers.)

Galvante, however, noted that there are some issues with the release of replacement plates for older vehicles.

The Commission on Audit (COA) earlier called out the DOTr for failing to deliver over 8.12 million license plates worth P2.1 billion to vehicle owners.

In its 2020 audit report, the COA said this “deprived the registrants of their right to receive the plates they paid for and affected the efficient apprehension of traffic violators.”

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