MANILA - Motorists' concerns over a new law requiring bigger license plates on the front and back of motorcycles can be addressed in the measure's implementing rules and regulations or through an amendment, Malacañang said Monday.
This, after President Rodrigo Duterte said he would suspend the measure, barely a month after signing it into law, after thousands of motorcycle riders argued that bigger license plates may endanger lives if detached at high speeds or by strong winds.
"He (Duterte) may have been misled into believing that the putting of that plate will endanger the rider when in fact he (Gordon) said it's not even a plaka (plate), it's a decal, so yung fear na baka tumama sa mukha ay baseless," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters during a Palace briefing.
(The President may have been misled that the plate may endanger the rider but the plate can be a decal so the fear that it may hit the driver's face is baseless.)
Duterte last month signed the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, authored by Sen. Richard Gordon, that aims to prevent crimes by making number plates more readable from a distance.
Panelo assured motorists that their concerns would "certainly" be addressed in the IRR of the law, and if necessary, the President can ask Congress to amend certain provisions.
The Palace would also ask for recommendations from Gordon and the Land Transportation Office, Panelo said.
“Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act” or Republic Act no. 11235 aims to prevent crimes by making number plates more readable from a distance. The plates will be also color-coded based on the country’s regions.
Following the President's remarks, Gordon appealed to the public on Monday to give the new measure a chance, saying "license plates" in front of motorcycles could also be in the form of stickers and decals.
Under the new law, a motorcycle owner must register his motorcycle within 5 days after purchase, and failure to do so would result in imprisonment or a fine of not less than P25,000.
Driving without a number plate can result in imprisonment and a fine of P50,000 to P100,000. Enforcers will also confiscate the motorcycle and it will only be released upon proof of ownership and “payment of the costs of seizure, and compliance with a number plate or readable number plate.”