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Licensed shortage

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“BASED ON the forecast of LTO, insofar as the license plates are concerned, license plates will run out for motorcycles by June, and by July, for motor vehicles will be depleted as well.” 

Thus, warned Land Transportation Office chief Jay Art Tugade of an impending shortage in license plates should the Department of Transportation fail to procure the necessary plates. This, on top of the shortage in driver’s licenses affecting 5.2 million motorists! 

“And the DOTr has been fully informed of this situation because, again, since the budget for the procurement of license plates is P4.5 billion, it is the DOTr that is in charge of procuring these items,” said the son and namesake of the former DOTr secretary over ANC on April 26. 

Tugade disclosed that the LTO had already projected the license shortage as early as Nov. 15, 2022, prompting the agency to form a procurement committee. But last January DOTr issued a special order mandating the LTO to defer procurement deals worth P50 million and above to the DOTr central office and its bids and awarding committee.

Thus, the all too clear and present danger of license plate shortage. 

Tugade said the LTO is currently working on contingencies, including the authorization of temporary plates provided by the owner themselves. “So, for example, ‘yung motorcycle owners, in the absence of a plate number, they can create a plate number, and on the plate number, it will say the motor vehicle file number of the motorcycle.”

He acknowledged, however, that several issues could crop up, such as that temporary plates would result in more crimes or even just the laborious procedure of counter-checking the temporary plates.

“This is one of the reasons why we should really push for the procurement of these license plates as much as possible. We should exert all effort to avoid a situation wherein we would run out of license plates,” he said.

“So, I’d like to take this opportunity to appeal to the DOTr to fast track and conclude the procurement of license plates,” he added.

This all too clear and present danger of license plate shortage! Even as the LTO is in deep dung over the shortage in driver’s licenses affecting 5.2 million motorists! 

Aye, can anything good ever come out of the LTO, out of the DOTr?

Shame. Shame.

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