License to fail
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
After delaying the release of motor vehicle and motorcycle license plates and even renewal stickers for the past months, ostensibly because a P3.85 billion license plate standardization program will replace the current ones with new and redesigned ones, the Department of Transportation and Communications finds itself at its self-imposed deadline for the release of the new license plates empty handed so it decides to suddenly announce that the program has been deferred indefinitely.
The DOTC and the Land Transportation Office awarded the joint venture of the Netherlands’ J. Knieriem B.V. Goes and Power Plates Development Concepts Inc. a five-year contract for the project. The license plates were supposed to have been delivered 30 days after a Notice to Proceed and the DOTC confidently assured the public that they can start enjoying the benefits of cutting-edge standardized license plates by the end of September.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya now says that the DOTC and the Department of Budget Management are still resolving issues regarding the release of funds for the project and thus far has not been able to provide a timetable for the release of the new license plates.
The new plates were supposed to have been worth the wait and the inconvenience of the license plate and renewal sticker shortage in the LTO, with new security features that will promote safety and reliability in accordance with international quality standards and were designed to prevent tampering, theft, and falsification of license plates in order to mitigate carnapping, colorum and smuggling practices.
It says a lot about the priorities and the leadership of the DOTC and the LTO that can afford to nonchalantly mess up something as vital to land transportation in this country as license plates, whether they it be with the confusion and uncertainty with the current ones or the planning and execution of the new ones. If the officials involved cannot follow through with a project as simple as license plate standardization, how are we supposed to trust them with the other more complicated problems hounding the DOTC and the LTO?*