By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Richard J. Gordon today criticized the Land Transportation Office (LTO) for its failure to implement Republic Act 11235, also known as the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act since it was enacted into law almost three years ago.
Gordon, the law’s author, said the LTO failed to protect the public, including motorcycle riders and has continued to commit injustice by dilly-dallying in implementing the provisions of RA 11235.
“Its implementation was so far delayed that the (Senate) Blue Ribbon Committee was forced to call hearings to determine how delayed, what the causes for delay were, and what consequences of the delays were,” he said.
“Non- implementation can also have dire consequences for our people. Many suffer injuries, or die because of this dereliction of duty,” he added.
As Chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, Gordon has initiated earlier this year a Senate investigation into the non-implementation of the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act.
It was revealed that less fortunate motorcycle riders are abused, and have no protection against the sequester of the dealers when they fail to pay their monthly dues, as they are not given the original certificate of registration provided by the LTO.
The investigation also revealed that five major motorcycle dealers, owned by a Mindanao-based family, falsified documents, shorting the government billions in pesos worth of taxes for misdeclaration of sales.
Gordon also reprimanded the agency for what he called “unconscionable and inordinate delay” in many of its provisions, including the timely release of motorcycle plates and the delay in the establishment of a joint LTO-Philippine National Police (PNP) Operations and Control Center.
“The first batch of plates was distributed only on 27 August 2020. LTO needs to produce 18 million permanent motorcycle plates more by June 2022,” he explained.
“Yet, two years after the enactment of RA 11235, there is still no Operations and Control Center. This is not acceptable! If lack of funding is to be cited, why is there no request?” he added.
Gordon said he authored the law due to the unabated rise in crimes involving motorcycle-bound riders, colloquially known as the “riding-in-tandem.”
The law requires the manufacture and distribution of slightly larger plates and the installation of sticker and decal plate numbers for easy identification up to 15 meters away.
It also mandated the LTO and PNP to establish a Joint LTO – PNP Operations and Control Center, which will serve as an action center for the reporting of stolen motorcycles, and the commission of crimes involving them. (ai/mtvn)