Senate Bill no. 1397 or should I say… RA 11235, Section 5: “Bigger, Readable and Color-Coded Plate Number”.
Right about 90% sure that you guys who are reading this must already know what this is. It is the law that requires all motorcycles to have two, yep, double plates installed. One in the back and one in front. According to the law which was signed by our President on March 08, 2019, it should be readable in at least 15 meters from the motorcycle to the one reading it.
Okay before we get our panties (or boxers, or briefs) in a bunch, what is 15 meters?! And how far is that or how are we going to know whether 15 meters is enough. Let us use science…
How far is 15 meters really?!
15 meters is just a few inches away from your typical bowling lane, the height of the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles is 15 meters, if you are into dinosaurs… the Brachiosaurus is 13 meters with its neck fully extended, The standard telephone pole is 12 meters…
Now that we have a certain perspective on how far 15 meters is, can you imagine how are you going to create a plate number that can be seen within that range? With that being said, these plates need to be mounted on both front and back of the motorcycle… Now use your imagination, real Pinoy. How big is this going to be?
We all have seen the outrage from the motorcycle riding community of the Philippines. The way they reacted towards the issue was a little… well… over the top. How can I say this? I, too, own a motorcycle; and the only question that came into mind while I was reviewing this was, “WILL THIS SOLVE (or BETTER YET), LOWER THE CRIME RATE of the COUNTRY?”
The Rider’s Breakdown
Based on personal studies, the reason why riders are furious about this new law that was passed is because of flair and inconvenience. Flair because, by adding something adding a front plate to our motorcycles, we would be losing “Pogi Points” to our own bikes. Who wants another plate in front our prized motorcycles eh?
As for inconvenience? Pinoys in general are laid back. We are a community that isso lax, we want everything to be spoon fed to us. Oh wait, did I strike a chord? Yep, you have to admit it, we are so lax, and we want everything to be done by someone else. And usually we blame the system for giving us something more to do. Like this, for example.
Is this for the Real Pinoys?
Do not get me wrong! I am not pro-government nor pro-riders… I am PRO-PINOY. I am for the REAL PINOYS. If there is one thing that I understand is that I, myself, suffer from these and apparently, I did my fair share of interviews over the past few days and I have received a ringing reply on repeat from my neighbors who are also riders, “Sus dagdag pabigat nanaman!” (An additional burden again!)
As I read through the law and the rants, there were a couple of instances that it made me chuckle. Those memes were priceless. I mean, seeing those pictures of motorcycles with HUGE PLATES, and checking for more fun stuff around, it was everything that I hoped for! The wit and the humor that our Pinoy riders put in this she bang was the exact amount of craziness that I expected.
You may call this exaggerated, but this is what makes us who we are and this is what we do best. The typical Pinoy Sarcasm works its wonders to appeal to the masses and have the vast majority understand what is happening.
Now, on to the matter at hand! With this particular law in place, it will definitely place a smack of bad sting in the middle of the riding community of the Philippines and the government. Not to mention LTO. The outrage did not only display the riders disappointment but it also gave the Filipinos in general including our dear politicians that some laws are not for the benefit of all.
Some of the riders mentioned that, “Di naman gumagamit ng totoong plaka ang mga kriminal!” (Criminals do not use real plates). Which is a little sketchy, but true to some extent. However, the true problem is, in my opinion, the lack of security itself. A bigger plate—or even a color coded one—will probably lower the crime rate but won’t solve the bigger problem. The crimes done with the use of motorcycle is just perhaps a twig from a bigger tree. This may serve as a small deterrent for the shootings, but is it really worth doing for the price of riders’ in the Philippines? For them to technically suffer the inconvenience?
The Real Deal
I watched a video of a well-known motorcycle enthusiast who said, “I am all for the safety of the Philippines but this needs to be regulated”. FINALLY a comment that is worth noting! Everybody knows that this law was made with the right intentions but the execution was a tad bit flawed.
They should have recognized the hardship that ALL MOTORCYCLE RIDERS go through just to follow regulations.
Let’s get to the nitty gritty of the complaint. In order for you to install a front plate on a bike, you need to have a sturdy enough bracket to place the plate onto. Not to mention, with the suggested size of the plate, it might block the headlights or worse… it might cause problems with the steering.
A lot of motorcycle riders around the world have their plate numbers in front but not in the way our government suggested it to be.
A Head Scratching End Note
I will write this again, the intention of the law is just. But the way it was explained to us was not clear, not to mention when Senator Dick Gordon went live to explain and said, “You should read the law first”. Well, we read it and it did not say that we can use stickers, vinyl nor decal. And with what he said on the end note was really… I don’t know… Disturbing perhaps? He said, “Pag may babaril sayo, makikita mo na yung plate number.” I was like, “WHAT WAS THAT?!”
Anyways! This is just diving in too much… All we now want is your comments regarding this. Whether you ride a motorcycle or not, this is definitely going to affect everyone. How? Imagine your husband/wife who is riding a motorcycle, gets mad because he got stopped by the police for not having front plates, so… you who does not ride a motorcycle now a part of the picture. See?
Leave your comments and questions below, we want to hear from you!