MANILA, Philippines - The new motor vehicle license plates will cost the same as the old ones, the Department of Transportation and Communications said on Friday.
In a statement, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya denied reports the newly designed motor vehicle license plates will cost more. He noted the new license plates will still cost P450 for 4-wheeled vehicles and P120 for motorcycles.
"These are the current prices already. So it’s not correct to say that they will cost more. New vehicle owners, meaning those who will register their vehicles for the first time beginning February 17 this year, will be charged the same rate as everyone else before," he said.
Owners of current license plates, however, will have to pay the same amount to get the new license plates.
"The additional cost will be for owners of the current license plates, who will have to pay those amounts to get the new designs. But this is a one-time payment only. In exchange, we get many security features which will improve the safety of our families and loved ones," he said.
The new license plates have added security features such as tamper-proof bolts, which will permanently attach the license plates to the vehicle; the reflectorized sheeting to make them visible from afar and from any angle; and the “third-plate” sticker, which will display license plate numbers on windshields and cannot be torn off without leaving a trace.
The DOTC hopes these added security features will curb illegal and colorum operations such as “tanggal plaka,” where current license plates are transferred from one vehicle to another to carry out crimes.
Also, the DOTC introduced "road discipline" features to improve enforcement and prevent violations of traffic or franchising rules.
For instance, the protocol license plates issued to members of the Senate and the House of Representatives will indicate which Congress or term they are serving and which years are covered. This means the validity of protocol plates will expire simultaneously with the term of the public official, preventing the unauthorized extension of their use.
"We believe that public officials will appreciate these new features, since we should all lead by example,” said Abaya.
The license plates of public utility vehicles (PUVs) will also indicate the region where registration was made. Public utility buses (PUBs) will also bear a label of “city bus” or “provincial bus,” and their “third plate” sticker will reflect their authorized routes.
"These will help improve road discipline and safety. They will enable traffic enforcers to apprehend PUVs which violate their franchises. Legitimate PUV operators should welcome this, since colorum vehicles will be weeded out,” Abaya said.