By Bernadette D. Nicolas, April 7 2019; Business Mirror

Image Credit to ABS-CBN News

PRESIDENT Duterte is eyeing the suspension of the implementation of the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, requiring the placement of bigger and readable plates in front and at the back of motorcycles.

The Chief Executive, also a motorcycle enthusiast, made the remark on Saturday night in a speech at the 25th National Federation of the Motorcycle Clubs of the Philippines Annual Convention held at the Iloilo Convention Center.

“I will try to convince the [Land Transportation Office] LTO to maybe hang on to it. I-suspend ko lang muna. Kasi it is not good [I will try to convince the LTO to maybe hang onto it. I will just suspend it for the meantime because it is not good],” Duterte said.

He also said he will talk to Sen. Richard J. Gordon, the author of the law, to seek a “compromise” on the implementation of the measure.

The President said he also sees no need to place a number plate on front of the motorcycle, saying that it would be “dangerous” for riders because of its sharp edges.

“I really know what’s bothering you: it’s the plate number, the…. I think it would not really make a difference because of the…. The criminals of the Philippines have perfected the art of falsifying, fabrication,” he said, in a mix of English and Filipino, referring to the main concern of Gordon in pushing the law—which is, to deter the use of riding-in-tandem for motorcycles for committing crime.

“No more. We cannot stop them all. To get to them at the proper timing to arrest them” is more crucial, he added.

The President instead suggested increasing the size of the plate on the back of the motorcycle by a fourth of its size.

Lakihan na lang ninyo ang plate number sa likod by one-fourth para makita talaga ’yung number. Ang importante talaga ’yung sa likod [Just increase the size of the plate number at the back by one-fourth for it to be visible. What is important is the one at the back],” the President said. Moreover, the hefty fines of P50,000 to P100,000 imposed under the law for violators also did not sit well with the President, who deemed them “too high” as it is already equivalent to the price of a motorcycle.

He signed law

“Maybe as compromise, I’m willing [to lower it to] P10,000 to P15,000,” he said. President Duterte signed Republic Act 11235 on March 8.

The law requires motorcycles to have larger and more readable number plates from a distance as a way to prevent crimes committed by motorcycle riders.

The President also defended signing into the law the measure, saying he just considered the recommendations of the police and military.

“ You know what…why I signed that…. The police are my men. The military are under me. What they recommend, I will adopt it as long as they include a rationale,” he said.