OFFICIALS of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), not the motorists, should be apprehended and made answerable for vehicles without the proper registration stickers. It was DOTC that delayed the release of car stickers and license plates, a lawmaker said on Friday.
Senate president pro-tempore Ralph Recto said that instead of apprehending motorists that don’t have car stickers, the DOTC should advise the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and other deputized traffic enforcers to impose a moratorium on the car sticker and license plates policy.
“If it is only possible to issue a traffic citation ticket to DOTC for such violation, then we must allow the motorists to drive without stickers,” Recto said.
He also called on the DOTC particularly the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to speed up the “delivery and issuance” of car registration stickers, a problem which has dogged the agency for more than three years now.
Recto made the call on behalf car owners whom have been waiting for the release of stickers that serves as proof that a vehicle has been registered.
He said the sticker issue is being viewed as a litmus test if government can address complex transportation problems.
“If we falter and fail on such a small thing as a car sticker, then how can we solve big and complex transport problems like mass rail transits, airport modernization and maritime safety?” Recto said.
At present, a four-wheel motor vehicle has to display three stickers: one on the windshield, and one each on the front and back license plates.
Under local traffic laws, failure to sport any of these is subject to a fine.
The LTO had promised that the sticker shortage problem will be gone by next month as the contracted printer, the government-owned APO Production Unit, has ramped up production.
But Recto admitted having reservations on LTO’s promise noting that he has been hearing similar promises since 2011.
“I am bewildered by the continued inability of our government to supply in adequate numbers a sticker as big as a postage stamp,” Recto said, referring to the stickers for car plates.
We are a country which produces tens of millions of stickers which are distributed for free during the election season and yet our government is taking months to deliver a sticker already paid for by the car owner,” Recto said.
The senator also suggested that instead of making car owners go to LTO to check if the stickers are already available, the LTO should call the vehicle owner the moment the stickers had arrived.
“LTO should treat the transacting public as customers who deserve that service,” he said.