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Atienza urges Congress to reconsider ‘doble plaka’ law

Thousands of motorcycle riders gather at EDSA corner White Plains before going on a “unity ride” on March 24, 2019 protesting the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act. Maria Tan, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – Senior Deputy Minority Leader and BUHAY Party-list Representative Lito Atienza on Sunday urged fellow lawmakers to reconsider the law that would require motorcycles to have bigger metal plates in the front.

In a statement, Atienza said it is better to accept errors and repeal the law than to cause permanent damage.

“It is better to accept errors in the law and repealing the same rather than causing permanent damage and even lives lost on the part of the motorcyclists. Obviously, the law has fundamental defects and the sooner it is adjusted to international norms and standards on safety, the better for all. Motorcycles are designed for speed and maneuverability. These cumbersome plates or decals will hamper the movement of and are even dangerous to legitimate motorcycle-riding citizens,” he said.

Atienza also noted motorcycle owners are still waiting for their new plates from the previous administration.

“And why should government be issuing new plates or decals when motorcycle owners have been waiting for their new plates since the last administration? These are plates that they have paid for but have not received until now,” he said.

For Atienza, it is better to improve police action to prevent crimes perpetrated by motorcycle-riding criminals.

“Ang dapat pagtuunan ng pansin ng mga awtoridad ay dagdagan ang police visibility at patibayin pa ang pagbabantay laban sa mga riding-in-tandem na criminal elements, at hulihin at ipakulong ang mga ito. Hindi solusyon ang pagpapakabit sa mga motorista ng panibagong mga plaka sa motorsiklo nila,” he said.

(Authorities should focus on improving police visibility and implementing more efficient measures against riding-in-tandem criminals, who should be arrested and put in jail. Requiring motorists to put new plates in their motorcycles is not the solution.)

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier this month signed the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act that aims to prevent crimes by making number plates more readable from a distance and color-coded based on the country’s regions.

On Sunday, thousands of motorcyclists gathered near the People Power Monument in EDSA, Quezon City as part of nationwide “Unity Ride” to protest a law that requires bigger license plates on the front and back of motorcycles, the violation of which could lead to penalties of up to P100,000.