Negrense riders slam ‘Doble Plaka’ enforcement


Some 1,500 motorcycle riders from all over Negros Occidental participated in the National Unity Ride in Bacolod City yesterday to register their staunch opposition to the implementation of the “Doble Plaka” law.

Officially titled “An Act Preventing and Penalizing the Use of Motorcycles in the Commission of Crimes by Requiring Bigger, Readable and Color-Coded License Plates and Identification Marks, and for Other Purposes”, Republic Act No. 11235 was signed into law last March 8 by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.

The law requires all motorcycles to use bigger, readable and color-coded (by region) license plates which “shall be readable from the front, the back and the side of the motorcycle from a distance of at least 15 meters from the motorcycle”.

It also requires all motorcycles, whether small scooters or big bikes beyond 1,000 cc, to display the license plates “in both the front and back sides of the motorcycle”.

Based on initial discussions with the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the new license plates might be as large as a short bond paper, which has to be installed at the front and back of the motorcycle, to be readable from 15 meters.

Failure to register the motorcycle with the LTO carries a fine of P20,000 to P50,000 or imprisonment ranging from arresto mayor (one month and one day to six months) to prision correctional (six months and one day to six years).

If the motorcycle is apprehended due to absence of the new bigger, readable license plates, the unit is subject to seizure by the police, and the owner will be made to pay a fine ranging from P50,000 to P100,000, which is more than the cost of most small motorcycles.

“This law is discriminatory towards the millions of law-abiding motorcycle riders in the country,” said Kingston Tecson of the Rouser Club of the Philippines–Negros Elites, one of the riding clubs which spearheaded the protest ride over the main streets of Bacolod yesterday.


“We are riders. We are not criminals,” Tecson stressed.

More than 120 motorcycle clubs from as far as Sipalay City down south to San Carlos City up north joined the unity ride, which was held simultaneously in Metro Manila and in key cities in the country.

“About 120 clubs registered their participation prior to the event but, during the ride, I saw numerous club logos which were not among the pre-registered groups. If only 10 members participated in each club, we could easily surpass the 1,000 mark. Our club alone accounts for more than 50 riders who joined this activity, so it is safe to say that roughly 1,500 riders participated in today’s event,” Tecson added.

It took almost an hour from kick off time of the lead group at the Bacolod City Government Center until the last contingent of the two-wheeled caravan left the BCGC.

The riding community hopes that, with this huge, nationwide political statement, the politicians can realize the folly of the “Doble Plaka” law, which one rider lambasted as the most stupid legislation passed by the Duterte administration, and must amend it accordingly.

The large front plate will cover the motorcycle headlights. Due to its size, the large plates will be prone to getting detached due to tremendous wind pressure, and can injure other riders and pedestrians.

“We are not only riders; we are voters, too. And we have family members and friends whom we can influence not to vote for these politicians who are passing laws which are discriminatory towards riders and which endanger the safety of riders and other people,” said one of the group leaders.* (Butch Bacaoco, NDB)

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