Delayed license plates from 2016 ready to be released
The problem of backlogs on vehicle license plates may soon be over. The Supreme Court TRO has just been lifted and the hundreds of thousands of pending license plates can now be released to registered car owners.
A copy of the press statement is indicated below:
DOTr-LTO Press Statement
23 January 2018
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) welcome the news reports regarding the Supreme Court’s decision, ordering the lifting of the June 2016 temporary restraining order (TRO) it issued on the release of around 300,000 pairs of license plates and 400,000 plates for motorcycles— of which about half were already released by LTO to vehicle owners prior to the TRO issuance.
Both leaderships of DOTr and LTO feel that the issue of the license plates has long been overdue, compounding the concerns of backlogs in license plates.
Though both agencies have yet to be furnished with an official copy of the High Court’s ruling, DOTr and LTO view the recent developments as a great help in curbing the problem of license plates in the country.
The Supreme Court’s ruling is a vindication for the DOTr and LTO, maintaining that the agencies have legally used government funds, particularly those from the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for the Motor Vehicles License Plate Standardization Program.
DOTr and LTO assure the public that it would be doing everything to provide the quality service the people deserves.
This issue traces back to July 2015 when the Commission on Audit issued a notice of disallowance for the payment of the license plates to the supplier (contract was worth Php3.8 billion). Lacking the necessary funds, the supplier was also not able to pay taxes on their latest shipment involving the 700,000 license plates.
Eventually, the Bureau of Customs confiscated the license plates that were unclaimed by the supplier at the port. The plates were later on donated to the LTO so they could use it to remedy the backlog. However, petitioners (Jonathan Dela Cruz of the Abakada Party List and Cong. Gustavo Tambunting of Paranaque) filed a TRO with the Supreme Court alleging that the donation to the LTO would contradict with the original notice of disallowance by the COA.