Senator Richard J. Gordon welcomed the passage on second reading in the House of Representatives of the bill mandating bigger plate numbers for motorcycles, stressing the urgency for taking a bite out of crimes perpetrated by riders in tandem which continues unabated with an average of four persons killed each day by riding-in-tandem shooters.
“This is a really welcome development. I hope they will pass it on third reading soon. We have already passed on third reading Senate Bill No. 1397 or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2017. Once the House version of the bill is passed on third and final reading, we can hold a bicameral conference then transmit it to the President for signing into law, hopefully before the year ends or even earlier,” Gordon, who authored the bill in the Senate, said.
“This will be a big deterrent against criminality perpetrated by motorcycle-riding-in-tandems, once this bill is passed into law. With bigger and easily readable plate numbers, criminals on board motorcycles would not be able to get away easily because witnesses will be able to identify their plate numbers and report it. Pwedeng mairadyo agad sa mga malalapit na police station na harangin nila yung motorsiklo na may ganitong plate number dahil may ginawang krimen yung nakasakay,” he added.
SBN 1397 proposes to require bigger and more readable plate numbers for motorcycles to deter, if not totally stop, crimes perpetrated by criminals on board motorcycles. Salient features of the bill includes mandating the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to issue bigger and reflectorized license plates to every motorcycle and scooter in the country which must be placed in both front and rear parts of the motorcycle.
The measure also proposes to sanction owners of motorcycles used in the perpetration of crimes with fines and jail terms. Should a motorcycle used in committing a crime turn out to be stolen or owned by another person other than the perpetrator and the owner failed to report the loss immediately, he or she will also be meted similar sanctions. Motorcycles travelling without plate numbers will also be flagged down.
Records from the Philippine National Police (PNP) showed that from 2010 to 2017, there were a total of 28,409 motorcycle riding crimes or incidents reported, of which, 13,062 or 46 percent were shooting incidents. Out of over 4,000 total number of motorcycle riding crimes or incidents in 2016, only 8 cases (0.18 percent) were solved.
According to the same PNP records, a total of 933 shooting incidents perpetrated by motorcycle-riding suspects were recorded across the country from October 11, 2017 to June 4, 2018. Of the number, 862 were murder cases while 71 were homicide.