Press Release
July 10, 2015


Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago is calling on her colleagues to investigate the billion-peso license plate standardization program of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) amid public outrage over the inferior quality of vehicle plates being issued.

Santiago, a laureate of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service, said she will file a resolution on the LTO license plate deal on Monday, following published photos of vehicle plates damaged in knee-deep floods.

Other reports claimed that the paint on license plates easily chip off and that LTO-issued security bolts do not fit many vehicles.

"It is ridiculous for the LTO to impose a costly fine of P5,000 if the security bolts are not attached to the new license plates, when car owners have complained that these supposedly standard bolts do not even fit their car," the senator lamented.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) procured new license plates for P3.8 billion. The LTO reportedly charges P450 per car plate, while vehicle owners have claimed on online forums that installation fees could reach up to P2,500.

"The faulty license plates and unreliable security bolts do not justify the billions of pesos in taxpayers' money spent for the project, and the high price that the vehicle owners have to pay," the senator said.

Santiago also urged due diligence in choosing contractors for government projects. "The LTO and DOTC must provide car plates that can withstand flood and other usual road hazards, especially since the country is vulnerable to typhoons," she said.

Santiago remains on medical leave due to her lung cancer, stage four, but continues to be the top-performing senator. She filed the most number of bills and resolutions since the 16th Congress started in June 2013 and until it adjourned sine die last May.

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