On July 7 this year, the Land Transportation Office announced that they will confiscate the license plates of any motor vehicle, cars, vans, trucks and motorcycles included, that has the frame or the plastic cover. When this ruling came out, there was so much confusion because one LTO official said that only the new plates will be covered by this rule. It turns out that all license plates, old and new are covered.
As it turns out, even the frames are to be removed and will be fined, get this, P5,000 in penalties and the confiscation of the banned accessory. The Automobile Association of the Philippines has shown support for this new rule.
As a motorist, the ban raises a lot of questions. What is so wrong with the covers?
In my experience, the covers provide protection against license plate thieves who steal license plates and use it for their getaway cars. There is also the matter of the sticker thieves.
The license plate are even more harmless. We install these in our car because the kids keep getting gashes whenever they squeeze between the cars in the garage when they are playing. It is also a protection against the sharp edges of those damn license plates. I don’t see why these should be banned! Automobile manufacturers also include license plate covers and frames just to protect it, to hold it and also secure the plates from falling or being stolen they created those covers for the benefit of the car owners.
LTO is also no stranger rules that enable their leaders to make money on the side. Everything from requiring cars to have early warning devices to drug tests, all money-generating opportunities for those closest to the powers-that-be. Personally, I am thinking that the new plates must have fished a good deal for whoever is going to make money in the LTO as it will be a new supplier (it’s a question that I always hear from drivers and licensed holders) , probably different from whoever it was before and is probably not making enough money for some LTO official’s private coffers.
As motorists we have to stand our ground against corruption and it is no secret that the LTO is one of the government agencies that is tagged as a corrupt agency, they priorities other things and not fixing their internal system. We need to stand up against this trivial and frivolous ban to make sure that the LTO officials who stand to make money from this ban, will not.