Duterte to request suspension of ‘doble plaka’ law for motorcycles

President Duterte signed the ‘doble plaka’ law sometime last month. This law, officially known as the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, implements a new license system for motorcycles. Aside from requiring larger plates, it also requires license plates at both the front and back of a motorcycle. It’s passing into law incited discontent from several groups of people, even resulting in unity ride against the law.

It seems these efforts were not put to waste. In a speech last April 6 (Saturday), the president promised he would bring up a review of the law with the Land Transportation Office (LTO). He is quoted as saying:

I will try to convince the LTO to maybe hang onto it, i-suspend ko lang muna, kasi it is not good. It is dangerous to place another gadget, lalo na may kanto ang plate number eh. [I will try to convince the LTO to maybe hang onto it, I will suspend it for the meantime because it is not good. It is dangerous to place another gadget, especially since a license plate has corners.]

He also had suggestions for changes that could be made regarding the law:

Lakihan na lang ninyo ang plate number sa likod by one-fourth para makita talaga yung number. Ang importante talaga yung sa likod. [Instead, increase the size of the rear plate by one-fourth so that the number will be more visible. The rear is more important.]

[The fine is] masyadong mataas [too high]. Maybe as compromise, I’m willing [to lower it to] P10,000 to P15,000.

Some time was also spent justifying why the bill was signed into law in the first place, especially if it would only be rescinded:

Alam mo kasi bakit pinirmahan ko, ang pulis tao ko yan, ang military tao ko, anong irekomenda nila, I will adopt it. Basta maglagay lang ng rationale. [Why did I sign it? Because the police and the military are my people. Whatever they recommend, I will adopt it, as long as they provide a rationale.]

(Why are bikers so angry about the new ‘doble plaka’ law for motorcycles?)

Despite this, Senator Richard Gordon has announced his intention to explain the rationale and necessity for the law. He mentioned in his statement: “Ipinagtatanggol ko lang ang mga taong pinapatay ng mga riding-in-tandem assassins [I am just defending those killed by riding-in-tandem assassins] How do we do justice to these people? You limit the way people can get away with riding without motor plates and riding with stolen motorcycles.”

What do you think — should the law be suspended or should it still pass?

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