By Masiding Noor Yahya
While there are at least 600,000 motorcycle plate backlogs in Zamboanga Peninsula in January, the Land Transportation Office in the region (LTO-9) aimed to attain zero backlog by December this year.
Lawyer Aminola “Alex” Abaton, LTO-9 director, said the backlog started in 2016 when the agency stopped the issuance of number plates due to the temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court and notice of disallowance by the Commission on Audit (COA).
Abaton said the distribution of plates was further delayed as the LTO waited for the plates’ final enhanced design in compliance with the requirements of the Republic Act 11235, otherwise known as the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2019.
He said the enhanced design has safety features such as the radio-frequency identification sticker, quick-response (QR) code, and reflectorized sheeting.
Of the total backlog as of late January, Abaton said at least 350,000 were from Zamboanga City while the remaining 250,000 were from different parts of the region, including Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, although these areas are already part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Abaton said he instructed all heads of the LTO district and extension offices in the region to address the problem and attain zero backlogs by December this year.
“After the purchase of a vehicle, our aim is for the papers and registration plate to be issued together,” he said. (PMT)