SC allows release of 700,000 transport license plates


THE Supreme Court has lifted the temporary restraining order (TRO) on the release of over 700,000 license plates after it ruled that the appropriation by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) for their production was constitutional.

“The Court ruled that the 2014 GAA included an appropriation for the program and for the use of the appropriation is constitutional,” according to a portion of the Supreme Court ruling that was released on Tuesday.

The LTO appropriated P1 billion under the Motor Vehicle Registration and Driver’s Licensing Regulatory Services in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2014 for the Motor Vehicle License Plate Standardization Program of the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

On June 14, 2016, the high court stopped the release of 700,000 license plates that were confiscated by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and were later turned over to the LTO, on the basis of a petition filed by Abakada partylist Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz and Parañaque City Rep. Gustavo Tambunting.

The lawmakers asked the Supreme Court to nullify the contract between the government and Filipino-Dutch supplier Power Plates Development Concepts, Inc/J. Knieriem B.V. Goes, as it failed to pay P40 million in duties and taxes.

The Department of Transportation (DoTr) said that it expected the license plates to be out by March 2018.

Among the 700,000 license plates, 300,000 are for motor vehicles, while 400,000 are for motorcycles. ARIC JOHN SY CUA


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