Senate bill seeks to amend ‘doble plaka’ law with lower fines, front RFIDs instead of plates

by TopGear.com.ph | Aug 30, 2022
PHOTO: Aris Cuevas

Republic Act (RA) No. 11235 or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act may have already been signed into law, but it’s not exactly in the clear just yet. Various rider groups and even legislators are still contesting the constitutionality of the act.

For his part, Senator JV Ejercito is at least trying to amend this law with Senate Bill No. 159. The bill seeks to lower the fines and penalties under the ‘doble plaka,’ law and to replace the required front plates with RFID stickers instead.

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The Senate bill reads: “In the spirit of equity, the fines contained in RA 11235 should be lowered not only because the possible would-be violators are poor, but because it is not at par with the fines imposed to a car owner with the same violation. The penalty of imprisonment in violation of RA 11235 is also too harsh and discriminates against motorcycle owners. As such, this bill aims to remove the penalty of imprisonment for violation of RA 11235.”

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The Senate bill specifically amends Section 4 of RA 11235, which requires a motorcycle owner to register his vehicle within five days from acquisition of ownership or to immediately report its sale or disposition. Failure to comply will result in a P20,000 to P50,000 fine—SB 159 lowers that to just P5,000.

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Section 5 of RA 11235 will also be amended. The Land Transportation Office (LTO) will be required to issue both a license plate and a small scanner-readable RFID sticker. The license plate will only be mounted onto the rear of the motorcycle while the RFID sticker will be installed in front. The latter will contain basic information about the owner and the motorcycle.

“An RFID sticker does not disturb the aero dynamicity and maintains the structural integrity of the motorcycle. Such advancements in technology not only make the riders safe but also give a sense of security among the public knowing that criminals would think twice before employing a motorcycle in their evil deeds.”

The fines that come with operating a motorcycle without a readable plate or an RFID sticker will also be lowered from a range of P50,000 to P100,000, to just P5,000. Law enforcers will only be allowed to seize motorcycles that fail to comply only if the rider has failed to show proof of ownership and registration and if it is proven that the owner is the one at fault for the non-installation of the plate or RFID sticker.

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Other fines stated in RA 11235 will also be lowered to P5,000. Under SB 159, violations punishable by imprisonment will only come with as much as P10,000 fines. If you want to see the full bill for yourself, you can check out the official document here.

This isn’t the only legislation that Ejercito is currently contesting. He has already expressed strong opinions against two refiled bills in Congress. In any case, what do you think of these amendments to the ‘doble plaka’ law, riders? Are these fair enough?

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PHOTO: Aris Cuevas
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