MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said it would not apprehend violators of the “No Registration, No Travel” policy of the Land Transportation Office (LTO), which took effect Wednesday, April 1.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the policy was unfair to drivers whose dealers had not turned over the new license plates that LTO issued through them.
Tolentino added that these car owners were not at fault and should not be penalized.
“Ang dapat hulihin yung mga lumang sasakyan na nagtatanggal ng plaka,” he said. (The ones we should apprehend are the old vehicles whose plates were removed.)
The MMDA chief also said the agency had asked the LTO to suspend the implementation of the policy.
Tolentino said the implementation of LTO’s policy was “untimely” since thousands of motorists were expected to head out of town for the Holy Week break.
In a press statement, Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno also criticized the LTO’s policy, saying it was the agency’s “inefficiency in the past” that caused the delay in the release of license plates.
“There was even a time [when] the delay took more than 12 months,” he said.
Moreno added, “Maybe we should have also implemented a ‘No plate release, no pay’ policy.”
LTO: License plates with dealers
Under the “No Registration, No Travel” policy, drivers operating motor vehicles without license plates face fines unless they can present documents showing that the vehicle has been registered or is covered by the 7-day registration period within date of registration.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya earlier said that “there is no more reason not to implement the law” because the LTO had been able to issue new license plates within 7 days from start of registration.
Owners of unregistered vehicles will be fined P10,000, while the driver will be fined P1,000. Those who are able to present vehicle registration documents will only be fined P5,000 for failure to attach license plates.
But drivers who believe the fault is due to the dealers’ delay in issuing the license plates can contest the penalty, the LTO said on Tuesday.
Vehicle owners may file a written protest within 5 days from apprehension. The agency will then look into the complaint and take appropriate action.
The LTO also released a list of car dealerships and their transactions with the agency from January to March 27. The list indicated the license plates’ series numbers and when these were released to car dealers.
“We are opening this list to the public in order to help new vehicle owners identify where their plates may be. According to the LTO, all license plates for new vehicles whose original registrations were applied for at the NCR Regional Office have been released to the dealers as of March 19,” Abaya said.
LTO chief Alfonso Tan Jr also advised new vehicle owners who have not yet received their license plates to ask their dealers to provide proof of registration application.
“We’ve received reports that some dealers have taken months to even start the application process, so this will help the public monitor whether they are getting the services they paid for,” he said. – Rappler.com
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