The implementation of Republic Act (RA) 11235, or also known as the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, has been postponed by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) assistant secretary Edgar Galvante. The suspension of Doble Plaka specifically the transfer of ownership will provide riders more time and ease to do so especially now that the country is amidst a pandemic.
A new memo from LTO calls for the suspension upon implementing RA 11235 until further notice. Provisions of RA11235, or simply called Doble Plaka Law, will be suspended according to the memo dated July 1, 2020.
Reasons for the suspension of Doble Plaka
LTOO Asec. Edgar Galvante provided two reasons for the suspension of Doble Plaka: The unavailability of plates and decals for motorcycles, and the prevailing COVID-19 crisis which is affecting the daily operations of the agency.
In view of the non-availability of the motorcycle plates and decals compounded by the continuing health crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic; necessitating the imposition of the quarantine measures throughout the country resulting in the limited operations capacity of our offices, the previous instruction, to defer until further notice in the implementation of the IRR’s ‘plate provisions’ or those which relate to the requirement of motorcycles to have number plates at the front and rear, is hereby formalized.”
In addition to that, Galvante also said that there will be an extension in deadline for owners of newly acquired motorcycles to report the sale or disposition of a unit from three days to 60 days.
The same extended time frame would be applied upon updating a bike’s registration, particularly the transfer of ownership, at LTO branches. Under RA 11235, riders are given only five days to update their documents.
It is also directed that the periods in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the mandatory updating of records, specifically: 1. The reporting of the sale or disposition by the owner of a motorcycle to the LTO within 3 days upon sale or disposition; and 2. The registration by the new owner of the motorcycle within 5 days from acquisition of ownership shall be extended for a period of 60 days from this issuance, to allow the owners ample time to process their transactions while observing social distancing and health and sanitary protocols.”
Difficulty in Complying
LTO and its district offices nationwide with the recent resumption of operations have seen a surge of riders coming by to their offices especially due to the penalties the Doble Plaka law states like the PhP100,000 fine and jail time of up to 6 years for non-compliance.
However, some district offices were forced to close due to a positive coronavirus test, the limited daily quota of emissions tests per testing center, and the sheer volume of riders wishing to comply has made the process nearly impossible. One rider group has immediately noticed this problem and voiced their concerns to suspend emission tests for the meantime.
Case against the Doble Plaka Law
On Wednesday, July 1, 2020, the motorcycle rider group, Riders of the Philippines (ROTP), filed for a Temporary Restraining Order vs RA 11235 at the Quezon City regional trial court, claiming that the law is unconstitutional and brands motorcycle riders as criminals.
The Doble Plaka law was authored by Senator Richard Gordon, co-authored by Sen. Tito Sotto, and was signed into law last year by President Rodrigo Duterte; and the reason was to distinguish and to easily identify motorcycles that have been involved in crimes.
The group’s legal counsel, Atty. Rowell Ilagan, stated that a lot of the law’s provisions violate the constitution of motorcycle riders, adding to say that the penalties are excessive and without reason.
Kung makikita nyo at kung mababasa ninyo yung batas at saka yung Implementing Rules and Regulations, madaming provisions dito ang bina-violate ang Constitution natin. The penalties are very excessive and unreasonable.”
In Translation: When you see and read the law; the Republic Act (R.A.) 11235 and its IRR, a lot of its provisions violate our current Constitution.
The group hopes that the court will seek to understand the plight of riders nationwide especially now that they are forced to follow strict guidelines with provisions that are difficult to meet as well. Riders have been trying to comply with the said provisions but bottlenecks in the registration process, particularly the emission testing requirement, have been slowing down the process.
What do you think of the suspension of Doble Plaka Law? Do you also agree that the law should be junked? Does it give motorcycle riders and owners another needle in the throat?
Source/s: Moto Pinas