“Republika ng walang plaka”. Meant as a joke to emphasize how so many vehicle owners have yet to get their license plates, this monicker has been around for years. In May this year, the LTO was confident they could address this backlog with their IDeROBOT machines. At the time, the agency said they could produce 5,600 vehicle plates and 3,600 motorcycle plates per day. Fast forward to today, and they might have a problem.
License plate backlog needs PHP 6.5B to be cleared
In yesterday’s Laging Handa briefing, LTO OIC Atty. Romeo Vera Cruz said that the facilities for making the plates are in place. Currently two units of the IDeROBOT machines – one for four- and one for two-wheeled vehicle license plates – are running continuous shifts to help clear the backlog. So what’s the problem, then? They have to buy the blank plates.
“Wala pong problema sa pag-produce ng plaka because we have modern plate-making plant. Kapag mayroon pong plate eh gagawin po natin iyan (There is no problem with producing plates because we have a modern plate-making plant. Once we have the plates, then we’ll work on them),” Atty. Romeo Vera Cruz, LTO OIC
Yes, you read that right. The LTO may have the machines needed, but the blank plate supply needs to be replenished before any backlog can be addressed, or for any plates to be made for that matter. That’s just one problem. Another is that the LTO’s engraving machines are also due for repairs. Spare parts need to be purchased to get all of the said machines up and running. The agency is seeking the help of Congress to provide them with the funding.
How much does the LTO need? PHP 6.8 billion.
Despite the lack of funds in hand, the LTO continues its efforts to digitize its systems to provide “faster and more convenient service to the public. For services like driver’s license renewals, yes, we can say that that’s slowly but sure being addressed, but the backlog of license plates is the agency’s biggest problem, and it has been for so many years now.
Their requested budget is a very tall order, that’s for sure. With other government agencies seeking a couple of billion pesos for their own projects, Congress, the LTO, and all other branches of government have their hands full.
Do you have your vehicle’s license plate already, or are you one of the hundreds still waiting? Let us know in the comments. We’re curious about how you feel about all of this.