It could likely take LTO over 2 years to address monstrous 13-million license plate backlog

The LTO’s struggles with the license plate backlog continue. Many have already waited for years for their pair of plates, and more will likely have to wait longer as Chief Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza II said that it could take his Agency over 2 years to finish the entire backlog. As it stands, 13 million license plates are being waited on, and with his announcement, everyone will have no other choice but to sit back and, again, wait.

Production of license plates being fast-tracked by LTO to cut down backlog numbers

Lto License Plate Production Fast Track Inline 01 Min

Photo: Land Transportation Office

It can be remembered that the LTO had already placed an order for 15M blank plates for stamping and to immediately start whittling down the backlog numbers. Since then, Mendoza said that about 1M have already been delivered for stamping.

At the Department of Transportation budget hearing held at the Philippine Senate two days ago, LTO Chief Mendoza bared to Senator JV Ejercito their estimated timeline to fully catch up and eliminate the backlog which is mostly for motorcycles and for replacement of plates from the old green plates to the new white plates.

“It will take over two years to finish the entire 13 million backlog but while we are doing that, we would be able to cater the current usage of plates by October this year. The goal is to release the license plate for all the newly-bought motorcycles so that they would not be included in the backlog,” said Mendoza.

Lto Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza Oathtaking Inline 02 Min

Photo: Land Transportation Office

“We already have machines that will be used in the embossing of the license plates and we will start the full production this October (2023). We are also dedicating some machines to cover the backlog,” Mendoza added. The machines include two robotic ones and nine semi-manual ones that are capable of producing about 42,000 license plates each day.

“Naabutan na natin ang problemang yan at tinitiyak po natin sa ating mga kababayan na lulutasin natin ito sa lalong madaling panahon [We’ve inherited this problem but I assure our citizens that we will resolve it as soon as possible]. This is our main priority and we have been coordinating with Secretary Bautista on this matter,” Mendoza committed as he asked motor vehicle owners for their patience and understanding.

Aside from the production of plates to address the backlog, Mendoza also committed to distributing all the unclaimed LTO license plates before the end of the year.

Lto Mall Distribution Unclaimed License Plate Inline 02 Min

Photo: Land Transportation Office

This question may have been asked so many times before, but do you, our readers, think that this is something that the LTO can achieve? Yes, we’re adding even more years to what’s already been a very long wait, but is this 2-year estimate fair, or will it become a basis for more years to be added should this seemingly never-ending problem drag on?

We recognize the efforts, and we are grateful for all that’s being done, but if something of this magnitude is to be prevented from happening again, then perhaps the LTO, DOTr, and more on the level of the national government should look into why it happened in the first place.

Agency cleansing, anyone?

Mikko Juangco
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