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‘New license plates not a money making scheme’

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The issuance of new standard license plates is not a money making scheme of the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said yesterday.

“Everything goes directly to the National Treasury,” Abaya said in a press conference with LTO officials, in reaction to the allegation made by George San Mateo, national president of transport group PISTON.

San Mateo said there was no reason for vehicle owners applying for new plates to pay extra fees since they have paid for the old ones.

He said the new plates would bear the same alphanumeric figures as the old plates.

But Abaya stressed the new plates have security features that could help in detecting colorum public utility vehicles.

The DOTC chief joined LTO officials in issuing the new standard public utility vehicle plates at the agency’s main office in Quezon City yesterday.

Earlier, LTO executive director Alfonso Tan Jr. said those renewing their vehicle registration starting this month would be required to apply for the replacement plates.

“Just to remind those who have old license plates: the new plates will not change your alphanumeric combination. Your existing plate numbers will be retained,” Tan said.

“Only vehicles registered for the first time will be issued the new three-letter, four-number combination,” he added.

Since 2014, the LTO has been issuing new license plates to vehicles being registered for the first time.

Tan last week said those renewing their vehicle registrations would be required to apply for plate replacement.

The new license plates for private motor vehicles are in black-and-white, similar to those in most countries around the world.

According to LTO, the new plates have tamper-resistant locks and screws, which permanently attach the plates to the vehicle, preventing their removal or transfer.

They also feature reflectorized sheeting to make them visible from afar and from any angle.

A permanent “third plate” windshield sticker will also be issued to vehicles. This will indicate the vehicle’s license plate number and other relevant registration information.

The new plates will be available after 45 days from the date of renewal of registration.

A memorandum issued by the LTO last month noted that applications for replacement of old plates will not be honored if the motor vehicle has changed classification or has a pending application of new standardized plates. The Philippine Star

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