Since May 2014,, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) started replacing old license plates and asked for P450 payment from vehicle owners.
“It’s time to change old license plates with new ones. Tomorrow, we begin phasing out the 9 various designs currently in use with modern, standardized, and security feature-packed license plates,” Secretary of Transportation Jun Abaya said.
“We advise the public that their new license plates will be ordered upon renewing their motor vehicle registrations beginning this year. The new plates will be available 45 days after ordering them,” added LTO’s chief, Assistant Secretary Alfonso Tan Jr.
The Philippines is ranked 147th on the lists of countries with most vehicles per capita having 6,895,985 registered vehicles as of May 2014. The Land Transportation Office (LTO) is also among the lists of government agencies with the biggest collection money.
LTO is among the most corrupt government agencies during the previous administration of Benigno Aquino III. The plate sticker that costs 50.00 pesos is always not available. As a vehicle owner for more than 20 years, there were a lot of times that LTO failed to issue stickers, but didn’t miss to collect payments.
The new plate that costs 450.00 is still unclear when to be issued, but considering the number of existing vehicles, the Aquino administration looked to collect around 1.4 billion pesos from vehicle owners.
Along with the non-existing plates are stickers that cost 50 pesos. LTO looked to make 344M pesos on stickers alone and since the plate is not yet available, stickers will be no show as well.
The Aquino government was always looking for some ways to milk its people, and this change of plate was just another way while maintaining the agency’s poor service.
According to a retired LTO executive, P286.23 million of the money collected for the new license plates were funneled to the campaign of Liberal Party during the May 2016 Elections.
Mr. Roberto Belen, former head of finance division said the Aquino government netted P1.24 billion pesos from non-existing license plates and stickers.
“There were no plans to replace the old license plates until Mar Roxas announced he would run for president. Siguro nakita nila na malaki ang malilikom na pondo pag nag issue ulit ng panibagong plaka kung kaya’t naisipan ito ng gobyerno. Di kailangang palitan ang plaka e. Pwede namang magrequest ng new or duplicate plates kapagka nasira or nawala ang dating plaka”, Belen said.
Belen spent 27 years at Land Transportation Office holding different executive positions until he retired before Pres. Duterte took office on June. /Greg Tupaz/
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