By: Erik Espina
SENATE Bill 1397 is now in the legislative grind as the “Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2017.” Said bill was filed by Senator Richard Gordon to support ‘State policy’ under Article II, Section 5 of the 1987 Constitution which provides that the maintenance of peace and order, promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.
It is declared policy to secure and safeguard the citizenry from the ruinous and extremely injurious effects of crimes and fatal accidents, particularly those caused by motorcycles/scooters. Under the Gordon Bill, the LTO is mandated to issue bigger sized plate numbers to be placed front and back which must be reflectorized and readable within a distance of 12-15 meters.
Plate numbers will have color schemes depending on the Region, to easily identify registration. LTO must furnish every Region and LGU a list of all newly purchased and 2nd hand motor/scooter sale and transfer. The penalty for a motorcycle being used in the commission of a crime or to ensure quick escape where the victim dies is reclusion perpetua. The same punishment will apply to the driver, back-rider and conspirators, if any, when the result of the criminal act is death to a victim/s.
In cases of stolen or lost plate numbers and motorcycles, the registered owner or authorized representative must immediately report the same within three calendar days. Under Sec 7, perhaps a provision on reviving the “plaka-vests” could be incorporated to facilitate spotting any anomaly between the plate number and the drivers breathable “plaka-vests” which should bear identical numbers and colors.
This will also help in the rise of stolen motorcycles when vests are required in operating a motorcycle. The LGU may be tapped for the issuances of ordinances on this in coordination with the LTO. This is a step in the right direction with thousands upon thousands of Filipino families, annually, falling prey to the continued rise of predatory RIT crimes. This is the best argument against bike enthusiasts’ sensitive over their free-spirited sub-culture.