Distribution of 300,000 car plates to begin in February – LTO

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 29) — Motorists looking forward to their license plates should not troop to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) just yet.

About 333,000 license plates are targeted for release on the second week of February, LTO Chief Edgar Galvante told CNN Philippines' The Source on Monday.

He advised motorists to wait on further announcements from the LTO, as the office had yet to study the Supreme Court decision that permitted the license plate distribution. He also said that the LTO will also contact and inform license plate owners whose details they already have.

"We really want to be sure we might be going over what has been allowed," said Galvante.

"Even without a copy [of the Supreme Court decision], we are already planning how we can notify the owners of these plates so as soon as the... order is received, magawa na namin yung [we can do the] distribution," he added.

The Supreme Court on January 23 lifted a temporary restraining order that stopped the release of 700,000 license plates. They came into the possession of the LTO after the plate supplier, Power Plates Development Concepts, Inc and J. Knieriem B.V. Goes, failed to pay the necessary taxes to the Bureau of Customs.

Related: License plates to be released to motorists soon

According to Galvante, about half of the plates were already distributed prior to the release of the TRO in 2016.

This comes on top of a backlog of between six to seven million plates after the Commission on Audit (COA) disallowed the motor vehicle license plate standardization program in 2013.

"We were told (COA) will wait for the decision of the Supreme Court. Probably with the decision... meron medyo malinaw-linaw [things will clear up]," said Galvante.

LTO needs COA's go signal to pay for the manufacturing of the plates in its backlog. The first batch, set for production in March, will cover vehicles registered from July 2016 to December 2017.

"We hope to finish delivery, the installation, and the test run by first quarter of this year and probably April, we'll start distributing," he said.

Production of new plates for motorcycles might be placed on hold due to pending House proposals mandating larger plates for two-wheeled vehicles. The measure was approved by the Senate in July 2017.

 

The LTO is also in the middle of consultations regarding car tint regulations. It is hoping to submit its recommendations on the proposed policy by the first quarter of the year.

Related: Gov't proposal restricts car tint on public, private vehicles

CNN Philippines Correspondent Anjo Alimario contributed to this report.