DOTr buys own machines to make license plates
'Ayaw na nating maulit 'yung problema sa plaka. Kaya naman mas maigi kung tayo na lang mismo ang mag-manufacture,' says Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade

LICENSE PLATES. Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade (left) inspects the motor vehicle plate facility of the Land Transportation Office on April 6, 2018. Photo from the Department of Transportation

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said it is “now ready” to make license plates using machines that it purchased recently.

In a statement on Sunday, April 8, the DOTr said 7 manual embossing machines have already been calibrated. These machines can make 22,000 license plates per day “at full production.”

The machines, delivered last February 26, are part of the government’s contract with Trojan Computer Forms Manufacturing Corporation and JH Tonnjes EAST GmbH Joint Venture.

The DOTr now expects the backlog in license plates – since July 2016 – to be addressed.

“Ayaw na nating maulit ‘yung problema sa plaka. Kaya naman mas maigi kung tayo na lang mismo ang mag-manufacture, kaysa nagpapagawa pa abroad na nagpapatagal lang ng proseso. With the proper equipment and training, kaya naman natin,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade was quoted as saying.

(We don’t want the license plate problem to happen again. That’s why it’s better that we manufacture the license plates ourselves, instead of having these made abroad which lengthens the process. With the proper equipment and training, we can do it.)

The DOTr also said one automated embossing machine will be delivered in July, and will be operational by August. That machine would be able to produce 12,000 license plates per day.

The backlog had stemmed from a controversial P3.8-billion contract bid out in 2013, whose legality was questioned.

Hundreds of thousands of license plates were also confiscated in 2016, after the supplier failed to pay customs taxes and duties. The Bureau of Customs (BOC) eventually turned over the license plates to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) – a move that was also questioned, but later cleared by the Supreme Court (SC). –