Changes in 'doble plaka' law may be done through IRR, amendment – Panelo
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang clarified what President Rodrigo Duterte meant when he said he would "suspend" the law requiring motorcycles to have front and rear number plates.
According to Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo, Duterte may order certain lines in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) to cure the provisions in the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act which he opposed.
If this is not possible, he may ask Congress to amend the law.
"If it's dangerous, he will ask Congress to amend it. Yes, maybe that's what he means," said Panelo on Monday, April 8, during a Malacañang news briefing.
"You cannot implement that without the Implementing Rules and Regulations. Maybe that's what he means, that they should study it carefully," he added.
Why did Duterte sign law in the first place? Asked why Duterte signed the law, only to order its "suspension" for supposed defects he would have seen had he read the law carefully, Panelo said it's possible the President only realized there were problems with the law when he heard the complaints of motorcycle drivers.
"Since some motorcycle drivers complained on the basis of that provision then the feeling of the President is maybe so, so let's just suspend it, let's study it first," said the spokesman.
Duterte's primary reason for signing the measure is "for the protection of the general public," said Panelo.
The law was supposedly recommended to the President by the Philippine National Police (PNP), which has been at the frontlines of dealing with crimes committed with the use of motorcycles.
How to implement Duterte's changes. Duterte wants to scrap the requirement of number plates in front and instead increase the size of the rear plates.
He is also mulling lowering the fine for drivers who don't have the enlarged number plates to P10,000 to P15,000 from what the law prescribes (P50,000 to P100,000).
While these provisions can be replaced through an amendment, which requires another long legislative process, it could be tricky inserting them in the IRR.
The IRR provides the details and processes for implementing a law but it cannot deviate from what the law says. The "doble plaka" law specifically states that "regular" plates are required for the front of the motorcycle. It also explicitly states the P50,000 to P100,000 fine.
Senator Richard Gordon, the law's author, had earlier said that the required front license plate can just be a "decal" or sticker, thus addressing concerns of riders that these pose a danger because these could get detached and hit them.
Panelo supported this interpretation and said that the IRR's definition for "regular license plate" can include a decal or sticker. – Rappler.com