MANILA, Philippines – Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya on Wednesday, April 1, defended the “No Registration, No Travel” policy of the Land Transportation Office (LTO), saying motorists have been given enough time to follow the law.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino earlier questioned the timing of the policy’s implementation, saying the rule would inconvenience the thousands of motorists heading out of town for the Holy Week break.
But Abaya said that the LTO and the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) had given earlier warnings to motorists to have their cars registered and license plates attached.
“We have talked about this policy for the last 6 months and warning and reiterating that this will come into force pretty soon. There has been more than enough pre-warning,” he said.
Earlier, Tolentino said the MMDA would not apprehend violators of the LTO policy, because it was “unfair” to drivers whose dealers had not turned over the new license plates that LTO issued through them.
Abaya, however, said the DOTC and LTO are “just bringing back the enforcement of the law.”
“No unregistered vehicle should be plying our streets,” he added.
Abaya also said that the LTO has already released license plates to car dealers. The agency released on Tuesday a list of transactions from January to March 27, showing the license plates’ series numbers and when these were released to car dealers.
The transportation secretary urged motorists to check with their car dealers and have the license plates attached.
Asked about MMDA’s refusal to implement the policy, Abaya said: “They are merely deputized. There is no reason to quarrel. I’m sure they are busy with other functions.”
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.
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.
Apprehended drivers who believe the fault is due to the dealers’ delay in issuing the license plates have 5 days to contest the penalty. – Rappler.com
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