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With new plates delayed, LTO plans to issue old ones

Manila, Philippines – The Land Transportation Office (LTO) plans to issue the current edition of motor vehicle plates until the yearend after the Department of Transportation and Communications’ (DOTC) failed to implement the Plate Standardization Program on schedule.

The LTO has started the process for a P10.5-million contract to supply motor vehicle plates for the last quarter of the year.

In a letter addressed to the DOTC, LTO executive director and Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chairman Atty. Alfonso Tan said that the submission and opening of bids for the contract is scheduled on October 30.

The DOTC awarded last July 22 a P3.8-billion contract to supply and deliver motor vehicle and motorcycle plates under the LTO Plate Standardization Program to the joint venture of Power Plates Development Concepts, Inc. and J. Knieriem BV-Power Plates.

The delivery of the maiden batch of “standard” motor vehicle and motorcycle plates should have been made last September but the DOTC failed to commit for the multi-year funding for the program.

A source privy to the bidding of the project said Abaya won’t be able to sign the contract unless Department of Budget and Management (DBM) issues a multi-year obligational authority (MYOA) required before the DOTC can enter into a contract that involves a multi-year-long project. The LTO Plate Standardization Program will run for five years, initially targeted to from July 2013 until June 2018.

The DOTC’s failure to commit for multi-year funding for the project resulted in the delay in the staggered production of new design license plates for at least 5,236,439 motor vehicles and 9,968,017 motorcycles nationwide, whose maiden delivery was scheduled to commence last September.

The new plates will use a combination of three letters and four numbers for motor vehicles and a combination of two letters and five numbers for motorcycles.

The motoring public has generally consented to paying P450 or P150 for new sets of motor vehicle or motorcycle plates during a nationwide consultation conducted by the LTO last year.

Aside from the plates’ design, the color of the plates and the font size for the plate characters will also be altered to make it more readable, especially for authorities who are looking after riding-in-tandem criminals or carjacked vehicles