New LTO plates to promote road safety, weed out colorum

Posted at 02/22/2014 3:09 PM

MANILA -- The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) will issue new motor vehicle (MV) and motorcycle (MC) license plates in late April as a measure not only to promote road safety, but also to help ease traffic congestion.

“The security features of the new plates will help weed out colorum vehicles from the roads, which will better assure the safety of the riding public. They will also help in reducing the anticipated traffic in Metro Manila. Of course, these features will also enable authorities to enforce criminal and traffic laws more effectively,” said DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya.

The DOTC has given the signal to proceed to PPI-JKG Philippines, Inc., which won the public bidding last year for the 5-year contract to supply 5,236,439 pairs of MV plates, and 9,968,017 pairs of MC plates, to the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

With these new standardized plates, the 9 different plate designs currently in use since 1981 will be eventually phased-out. Furthermore, private MV plates will sport a new black-and-white design, similar to those in use in most countries around the world.

"For hire' or PUV plates will retain the black-and-yellow scheme.

The LTO will start releasing the new license plates beginning in April this year, as PPI-JKG will need one-and-a-half months to manufacture the first set of plates, which will then be distributed to LTO district offices nationwide.

The new plates will have tamper-resistant locks and screws which will permanently attach the plates to the vehicle, preventing the transfer of the plate from one vehicle to another, which is commonly done in perpetrating crimes such as carnapping and in operating "colorum" PUVs.

A "third plate" windshield sticker will replace the current sticker which is renewed during annual registration, and will indicate the vehicle's license plate number.

For PUVs, the 'third plate' will also indicate the vehicle's authorized route, preventing out-of-line "colorum" operations and plate tampering.

With these new security features, it will be easier for the LTO, Land Transportation and Franchising Board (LTFRB), and other law enforcement agencies to weed out "colorum" vehicles roads, easing traffic congestion.

An estimated one thousand units of "colorum" buses are believed to be plying EDSA on a daily basis.

Among the other anti-colorum efforts of the DOTC, LTFRB, and LTO are the possible imposition of stiffer penalties for colorum operators, including a P 1-Million fine, as well as the use of technology to zero-in on violators.

Last year, the LTFRB also launched its Oplan Goliath campaign to apprehend unauthorized PUV services on the road.