MMDA: Solons not exempted from number coding

Posted at 07/28/10 2:00 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Vehicles bearing plate numbers 7 and 8 are not exempted from the number coding scheme, the new Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman said on Wednesday.

"When you have a Number 8, it's just a vanity plate because of your position, but you have an official registered LTO (Land Transportation Office) plate that should be the one used for purposes of number coding requirement," newly-installed MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said in an interview on radio dzMM.

Tolentino said he will advise MMDA traffic enforcers to disregard the "vanity plates" and instead check the lawmakers' registered license plates, which should be attached to the back of their vehicles.

Traffic enforcers normally flag down violators of the number coding scheme.

Tolentino clarified that instead of the usual flagging down, the MMDA's camera ticketing system will be imposed on lawmakers.

He said lawmakers who will violate the number coding scheme will be "politely" issued a traffic violation ticket.

The camera ticketing system includes the "non-contact traffic apprehension" scheme, where camera-equipped MMDA traffic enforcers are deployed in strategic areas to take pictures of traffic violators.

The traffic violation fine is applied when the violator registers his or her vehicle with the LTO.

The "apprehension" of lawmakers who will be violating the number coding scheme is in line with President Benigno Aquino III's inaugural promise that the road-bullying days of public officials are over.

Tolentino has said private vehicles of medical practitioners confirmed by the Philippine Medical Association, and media practitioners, are the only ones exempted from the number coding scheme.

Upon his assumption as MMDA chief on Tuesday, Tolentino ordered the confiscation of coding exemptions issued to around 4,000 private vehicles effective on Monday.