MANILA - The initial batch of new plates arrived at the Land Transportation Office (LTO) central main office on Thursday.
As of now, 20,000 motor vehicle plates and almost 10,000 motorcycle plates are housed inside the LTO warehouse.
The plates are currently being distributed to regional district offices. Metro cities are prioritized.
By next week, these new plates will be seen on the road.
New motor vehicles registered February 17 onwards and new motorcycles registered last September 2013 onwards will get the new batch of plates.
For existing vehicles, they can avail of the new plates for P450 upon renewal of registration.
The LTO is targeting June this year to finish all the backlog on the license plates registration and car stickers.
Last month, LTO Assistant Secretary Alfonso Tan admitted that the backlog started in 2012 when the winning bidder failed to produce the license plates and car registration stickers.
As of 2013, the backlog on motor vehicle plates is around 400,000 and 1 million for LTO stickers.
The release of new plates was expected late April this year.
LTO spokesperson Jason Salvador explained there has been a slight delay due to the Holy Week vacation.
The original release of the new plates was scheduled September last year, but delayed due to issues on the release of funds by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the project.
The standardized plates will eventually replace the nine different designs currently in use since 1981.
By 2016, all vehicles will be sporting the new look.
Private motor vehicle plates will have black-and-white design, while public vehicles will retain the black-and-yellow scheme.
These new license plates are patterned after those in Europe.
License plates for cars and other private vehicles will now have 3 control letters and 4 digits such as ABC-1234, while motorcycle plates will have 2 control letters and 5 digits such as AB-12345.
Plates for public utility vehicles (PUVs) will have 3 control letters and 4 digits plus their route.
The new plates will be loaded with security features to make it easier for law enforcement agencies to rid roads of colorum vehicles.
A "no plate, no travel" policy will be strictly re-imposed once backlogs on license plates for motor vehicles and motorcycles are addressed with the release of new plates.