Senator calls for traffic violation moratorium for ‘no sticker’

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

SENATE President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto urged the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to formally advise the authorities involved in traffic management to impose a moratorium on apprehending motor vehicles which, though registered, do not sport stickers.

"Hindi naman nila kasalanan na wala pang sticker, so bakit sila bibigyan ng traffic violation ticket," he said.

Recto made the call on behalf car owners whom he said have to wait for months for the release of stickers, which serve as proof that a motor vehicle has been registered.

Recto urged the DOTC to speed up the "delivery and issuance" of car registration stickers, a problem which has dogged the agency for more than three years now.

"Kung pwede nga lang, DOTC ang bigyan ng traffic citation. Their violation: Allowing cars to drive without stickers," Recto said.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO), an agency under the DOTC, had promised that the sticker shortage problem will be gone by next month as the contracted printer, the government-owned APO Production Unit, has ramped up production.

"Sana magkatotoo na 'yan. Kaso 2011 pa natin naririnig ang pangakong 'yan," Recto said.

He said the sticker issue is being viewed as a litmus test if government can address complex transportation problems.

"If we falter and fail on such a small thing as a car sticker, then how can we solve big and complex transport problems like mass rail transits, airport modernization and maritime safety?" Recto said.

At present, a four-wheel motor vehicle has to display three stickers: one on the windshield, and one each on the front and back license plates.

Under local traffic laws, failure to sport any of these is subject to a fine.

"I am bewildered by the continued inability of our government to supply in adequate numbers a sticker as a big as a postage stamp," Recto said, referring to the one inch by one inch stickers for car plates.

"We are a country which produces tens of millions of stickers which are distributed for free during the election season and yet our government is taking months to deliver a sticker already paid for by the car owner," Recto said.

The senator said a car owner has to go back "many times" to the LTO where he had his vehicle registered to follow up if the stickers had arrived.

"I think we should reverse the process. What the LTO should do is call the vehicle owner that his stickers had arrived. LTO should treat the transacting public as customers who deserve that service," he said.

Recto said, "This kind of service will spare car owners who live far from the LTO office from the hassles of making repeated trips just to inquire if the stickers are now ready." (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)

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