Several hundreds of motorcyclists in Bohol joined the nationwide protest against a controversial law that requires bigger license plates on the front and back of motorcycles, which has been dubbed the “doble plaka law.”
Bohol-based motorcycle rider associations staged their “unity ride” around Tagbilaran City and Panglao Island on Sunday to protest a key provision in Republic Act 11235, or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, which they said is “discriminatory” against motorcyclists.
The government, including the police, has deemed the policy to have double plates necessary to prevent crimes particularly those carried out by the infamous riding-in-tandem criminals, but motorcycle groups have expressed doubt on the effectiveness of the measure to curb crimes involving motorcyclists.
“I don’t know og it will serve its purpose kay na ba gu’y mga criminal og magplano sila sa ilang buhatong illegal ug unsa pa diha, magamit sa ilang plaka, mapeke gani kanang lisensiya, plaka pa kaha,” said Junje Daguplo, an official of Club150i Team Bohol.
According to Daguplo, they are unsure if current motorcycle models can be safely modified to be retrofitted with a front license plate as
these were designed to have a single plate each.
“Matud sa mga eksperto risgo kuno na…gamay na gani ng motor sa atubangan samot na og butangan og plaka na wa man sa design,” he said.
Daguplo however clarified that they are not against increasing the size of plates at the rear end of the motorcycle and RA 11235 per se, only the prescribed installation of two bigger plates at the back and front which is stipulated by the law.
President Duterte signed the measure, now RA 11235, into law on March 8, 2019, triggering outrage from the motorcycle-riding community.
Under the law, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is mandated to issue bigger, readable and color-coded license plates to motorcycle owners in the country.
“The LTO shall also devise a color scheme of the readable number plates for every region in the Philippines where a motorcycle is registered for quick and easy identification,” the law states.
Driving without a number plate can result in imprisonment and a fine of P50,000 to P100,000.
That law also stipulates that a motorcycle owner must register the vehicle within five days after purchase, and failure to do so would result in imprisonment or a fine of not less than P25,000. (RT)