Bill amending ‘Doble Plaka’ Law up for Senate debates

A bill seeking to amend Republic Act No. 11235 or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, popularly known as the “Doble Plaka” Law is now up for Senate plenary deliberations.

This, after Senator Francis Tolentino sponsored Senate Bill 2555 as contained in Committee Report 191 which proposes the following:

Amending the section on registration of motorcycles by differentiating the case of new ownership from the case of subsequent sale, taking into consideration the several different modes by which ordinary people purchase a motorcycle such as repossessed motorcycles Installation of RFID sticker at the front portion of the motorcycle instead of the original decal plates under RA 11235 for the safety of motorcycle riders Adjusting the period within which the owner of the motorcycle may report any loss of number plate or RFID sticker Adjusting the penalties of fine and imprisonment to a more reasonable amount and period Adjusting the transitory provision to June 30, 2025 for motorcycle owners not in conformity with the provisions of SB 2555 to renew their registration, and December 31, 2025 for the Land Transportation to produce, release, and issue the number plates as required under the proposed measure.

RA 11235 was signed in 2019 by former President Rodrigo Duterte. The law seeks to prevent the use of motorcycles in crimes by mandating bigger plates and other identification marks.

The implementation of the law, however, was suspended after rider groups protested the requirements of RA 12235, particularly the required installation of bigger plates.

In his sponsorship speech, Tolentino noted that riders “deemed the law as discriminatory for singling out motorcycle riders in its scope, unfairly profiling them as potential criminals.”

He likewise cited concerns from the motorcycle groups that the “doble plaka” requirement will pose a danger to riders as the additional plate will affect the aerodynamics of the motorcycles.

Further, the current law provides for short window periods for registration and reporting of transfer of ownership of motorcycles.

“The law if not amended at the appropriate time is akin to a sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of our motorcycle riders, as there is no assurance when the suspension will last and there is that constant fear that the same might be lifted anytime, leaving them with no choice but submit to the law no matter how harsh or discriminatory the latter is,” Tolentino said.—LDF, GMA Integrated News

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