Vehicle licence plates finally being distributed after years of delay

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licence plates
Various vehicle licence plates. Picture courtesy of the DOTC.

The Land Transportation Office has finally started distributing vehicle licence plates after years of backlogs.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said today (Thursday, July 5) that the distribution covers vehicles registered from July 2016, but not those from during the Aquino administration.

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He said: “First, we are not addressing the backlog during the previous administration. We are only addressing the backlog of the present administration. I hope that we finish the distribution by 3rd quarter of next year.”

The total backlog in licence plates, dating back to 2014, has reached a staggering eight million. Since July 2016, when the current administration took office, it stands at three million.

Out of this three million, the LTO’s initial batch for distribution includes 231,332 licence plates for vehicles purchased from July to December 2016.

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The backlog stemmed from a controversial 3.8 billion peso contract awarded in 2013, which is suspected of being legally irregular.

The Commission on Audi (COA) issued a ‘notice of disallowance’ to the LTO in 2014, which prevented the distribution of about 700,000 licence plates. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said these plates would be distributed once the COA issued a resolution lifting the notice.

To help address the backlog, Tugade also announced today that the DOTr had a plan to make sure newly purchased cars came ready fitted with licence plates.

He said: “Now, we want that when you buy a new car, when it’s released from the dealership, it should already come with licence plates.”

The transportation chief said they were still evaluating which dealers they would work with, to ensure quality service.

“There is a process that will be conducted so that there will be quality accreditation of dealers. The quality of dealers is not the same. The LTO is doing everything to have select car dealers accredited,” he said.

Back in April, the DOTr announced the purchase of seven manual embossing machines together capable of printing up to 22,000 plates per day.

An automated embossing machine is expected to be delivered later this month capable of printing 12,000 plates per day.

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