New bill requires bigger number plates for motorbikes

The House of Representatives approved on third and final reading a measure that requires motorcycles to use bigger number license plates and identification marks to put an end to the so-called "riding-in-tandem" crimes.

House Bill 8419, principally authored by Rep. Victor Yap (2nd District, Tarlac), was approved by all 219 House Members present during the voting.

The proposed “Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2017” hopes to curb criminality and "riding-in-tandem" instances through the easier identification of license plates of motorcycles used in the commission of crimes.

Article II, Section 5 of the Constitution provides that the maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, and the promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.

The bill declares that towards this end, the State shall ensure the security and safety of its citizenry from crimes committed with the use of motorcycle.

The bill mandates the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to issue a bigger number plate for every motorcycle with alphanumeric characters in large and readable font from a distance of at least 12 meters from the motorcycles.

The LTO shall also devise a scheme for the bigger number plate for every region in the country where a motorcycle is registered for quick and easy identification.

The bigger number plate must be displayed at the back of a motorcycle and shall be made of suitable and durable material as determined by the LTO.

Driving or operating a motorcycle without a bigger number plate shall be prohibited. The driver shall be apprehended while the motorcycle shall be impounded by the LTO law enforcement officer or other deputized law enforcement personnel and immediately turned over to the custody of the LTO.

The LTO law enforcement officers or their deputized law enforcement personnel who fail to immediately surrender a motorcycle impounded shall be penalized and held liable for any loss or damage of the impounded motorcycle under their custody.

The use of an impounded motorcycle in the commission of a crime shall also be penalized.

The owner of the impounded motorcycle may redeem the vehicle from the LTO upon proof of ownership, payment of assessed fines and compliance with bigger number plate, as provide in the Act.
Motorcycle owners who do not report the sale or disposition of their motorcycle shall be fined P5,000 to P20,000.

Likewise, a rider of a motorcycle without a bigger plate number shall be meted a fine of P5,000 for the first offense, P10,000 for the second offense, and P15,000 and revocation of driver's license on the third offense.

Failure of the owner to report the loss, damage or theft of number plate shall be subjected to a fine of P5,000 to P20,000.

Tampering, altering, forging, or imitating a bigger number plate shall be penalized with prision mayor as provided under the Revised Penal Code, or a fine of P50,000 to P100,000, or both, at the discretion of the court.

Likewise, the use of stolen number plate in a motorcycle shall be meted a penalty of prision mayor as provided under the Revised Penal Code, or a fine of P50,000 to P100,000, or both, at the discretion of the court.

After five years from the effectivity of the Act and every five years thereafter, the LTO shall review the fines herein imposed and shall adjust the same accordingly if deemed necessary.

The amount needed for the initial implementation of the Act shall be charged against the current year’s appropriation of the LTO. Thereafter, such amount as may be necessary for the continued implementation of the Act shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA).

The LTO shall be given one year to produce the necessary bigger number plates to replace the existing number plates of motorcycles.

Other authors of the bill include Deputy Speakers Ferdinand Hernandez, Raneo Abu and Linabelle Ruth Villarica, Reps. Reynaldo Umali, Luis Raymund Villafuerte, Cesar Sarmiento, Romeo Acop, Karlo Alexei Nograles, Rozzano Rufino Biazon, Carlito Marquez, Jesulito Manalo, Strike Revilla, Johnny Pimentel, Rodolfo FariƱas, Nancy Catamco, Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado, John Marvin Nieto, Leo Rafael Cueva and Gus Tambunting.

SOURCE: Eddie Galvez (2018). Bigger number plate for motorcycles approved. House of Representatives. PRESS RELEASES. 24 November 2018 08:35:17 AM.