Supreme Court halts release of car license plates

Supreme Court halts release of car license plates

It seems that car owners would have to wait longer for the license plates they paid for as the Supreme Court (SC) issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) for the distribution of license plates donated by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to the Land Transportation Office (LTO). 

According to SC Spokesman Theodore Te, the said order is effective immediately until further notice from the SC.

The TRO covers the 300,000 license plates for motor vehicles and 400,000 for motorcycles.

The TRO was filed by Representatives Jonathan Dela Cruz of the Abakada Party List and Gustavo Tambunting of the 2nd district of Paranaque in light of the questionable donation of license plates by the BOC to LTO despite the Commission on Audit ‘s (COA) notice of disallowance.

As a review, PPI-JKG Philippines was awarded with a P3.8 billion contract by the LTO to supply the license plates but, COA found this anomalous as it did not adhere to some of the standards in public bidding. With this, COA issued a notice of disallowance.

These plates were held custody by the BOC at the Port of Manila due to unpaid taxes and duties by the Dutch-Filipino consortium PPI-JKG Philippines, LTO’s contractor for the Plate Standardization Project.

BOC’s initial plan was to auction the plates if PPI-JKG fails to pay. However, BOC Commissioner Alberto D. Lina said they cannot auction the plates because of legal and security reasons.