MANILA, Philippines - The much-awaited release of new motor vehicle plates has been delayed.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the project has been delayed due to conflicting policy issues between the Department of Transportation and Communications and the Department of Budget and Management.
"Nag-uusap po ang DBM at DOTC dahil may pagkakaiba sa interpretation ng policy kaya inaayos pa namin. Naka ilang meetings na kami ni Secretary (Butch) Abad at patuloy po naming inaayos iyon. Siyempre, may mga policies din sila na pinapatupad at sa amin, binabase rin namin sa policies ng batas. So inaayos namin," Abaya said in an interview on dzMM's Failon Ngayon.
Abaya clarified the issue is not about procurement, but "more of a financial management issue" on the part of the DBM.
"It is in the issue of a multi-year obligation allotment. Kasi the different laws and policies, sinasabi kailangan ba ito bago mag-procure o bago pirmahan ang kontrata," he said.
No timetable has been set yet for the release of the new plates.
Earlier, the DOTC said the new license plates will be out by end of September. This after the DOTC awarded the 5-year contract for the supply of motor vehicle license plates and motorcycle plates to the joint venture of J. Knieriem B.V. Goes and Power Plates Development Concepts, Inc.
Backlog in motorcycle plates
Meanwhile, Abaya said the backlog for motor vehicle plates registered up to the month of August for the National Capital Region (NCR) has been addressed. However, the reported backlog for motorcycle plates and stickers stands at 480,000 plates and 370,000 stickers as of July this year.
"Yan po ang bigger problem dahil ang supplier of the plates and the material ay yung nabanggit po natin na contractor. Na-black list na po siya. But pinapatuloy na lang po natin kasi hindi naman po natin i-cut dahil limitado din ang grupo na ito. Ang report po sa akin ay ang August demand ay bandang December pa nilang ma co-comply," the DOTC chief said.
Since the backlog is affecting thousands of new motorcycles, Abaya said the policy of "no plate, no travel" should be eased.
"Hopefully, luluwagan yung 'no plate, no travel' policy dahil inaamin naman ng ating pamahalaan na tayo ang may kasalanan," added Abaya.
Also, motor vehicle owners outside of NCR, Region 3 and Region 4-A will also have to wait a little longer as Abaya admitted that the regions mentioned were prioritized.
"Logical ang ginawa ng Land Transportation Office (LTO) na inuna tong NCR, Region 3 at Region 4-A dahil 60% ng mga vehicles ay nandito. Sa tingin ko, eventually, mag-tritrickle down to sa mga probinsya kasi ang demand doon is lesser," he said.