What is happening with this Doble Plaka law? They cannot seem to decide proper on whether they need to have this regulated, implemented or suspended. At this point I am not sure about this anymore.
Because here is the thing, before a bill is signed by the president to become a law, it has to go through different steps and 3 readings plus the debates and all that. I think it is safe to assume that given the current situation of the country, our dear president must have placed his trust on the senate to make this law reasonable for people to benefit.
However, when the uproar caused a widespread anger mainly focused from the motorcycle riding community of the country… This was probably the reason why the president reacted this way. I could say that it sounded like this was the first time he heard about this.
It’s in, and out and in again?! What?!
Now, where do we stand on this? First, the president signs the law. Then Senator Gordon made a statement that we can use a different medium other than metal plates on the front of the motorcycles, thus triggering another wave of protests from the riders. The wave was so loud and proud it probably caught the president’s attention that he signed a law that was supposed to be ALL PREPPED AND READY TO GO. After noticing, the president requested to suspend the Doble Plaka law since according to him, “… i-suspend ko lang muna, kasi it is not good. It is dangerous to place another gadget, lalo na may kanto ang plate number eh,” (I will suspend it for the meantime because it is not good. It is hazardous to place another gadget, especially since a license plate has sharp corners.). The president also suggested, “Lakihan na lang ninyo ang plate number sa likod by one-fourth para makita talaga yung number. Ang importante talaga yung sa likod.” (Instead, increase the size of the rear plate by one-fourth so that the number will be more visible. The rear is more important.)
And when President Duterte said, “Alam mo kasi bakit pinirmahan ko, ang pulis tao ko yan, ang military tao ko, anong irekomenda nila, I will adopt it. Basta maglagay lang ng rationale,” (Why did I sign it? Because the police and the military are my people. Whatever they recommend, I will adopt it, as long as they provide a rationale.)
And they are returning the serve!
Now on Sunday, April 7. Gordon gave a press release that he will be talking to the President about the said law and went on to say that the law cannot be suspended.
“Ipinagtatanggol ko lang ang mga taong pinapatay ng mga riding-in-tandem assassins (I am just defending those killed by riding-in-tandem assassins)…. How do we do justice to these people? You limit the way people can get away with riding without motor plates and riding with stolen motorcycles,” Senator Gordon said.
As mentioned in my previous article about the said law. The intention of it is very sound however; they must have not thought everything through.
I went to browse social media to see what riders had to say about the case and a very influential rider named Zach Lucero who is also a member of the famous band Imago. He had a couple of good points on the video that he posted from which he focused on an alternative for Doble Plaka.
He said that a helmet cam is the next best alternative for a crime deterrent for the rising motorcycle crime rate.
I was glued to my laptop listening to his ideas and I cannot help but think that this guy might be on to something. He went on to say that a helmet cam can increase the visibility of the motorcycle crime in the Philippines. This is probably true since statistics say that dash cams and helmet cams provide decent enough evidence to be presented in any court.
He also continued to say to increase the volume of the CCTVs around the metro which is also a good idea! Though I must add to place DECENT QUALITY CCTVs… I have been watching a lot of News on all Local Networks and every time they show footage of our CCTVs, we always get the same video quality like our cameras were made in 1992.
The Real Pinoy reactions
So I spoke with a couple of my rider friends asking what they think of Zach Lucero’s idea of installing a helmet cam mandatory. And here’s what they have to say:
“Helmet cam?! Ang mahal kaya nun!” (A Helmet Cam?! That’s too expensive!)
“Kung sasagutin ng gobyerno, bakit hindi?” (If the government will pay for it, why not?)
“Pwede lang naman daw ang sticker sa harap na plaka ah? Dun na lang ako sa mura.” (I think they just said that we can use a sticker instead of plate on the front right? I will go with the cheapest way.)
“Bahala na sila. Kung ano ang ma approve basta mura.” (It’s up to them. Whatever they approve just so as long as it’s cheap.)
A similar note rings eh? Since the lot of the ones I interviewed are mainly from the mid to low class bracket of society who happen to own a motorcycle, the answers they gave are always based on their budget. The cheaper option is always the best option. Though, most of the riders do believe in investing on safety, it is also incorrect to ignore the plea of the lower tiers.
Let us not forget the main objective of the law. It is to have a firm deterrent on the rising crime rate which involves motorcycles. With all the suggested alternatives that I have read all over the internet, I do think that the additional CCTVs around the Metro plus the video recording quality of each CCTVs should be heightened as well.
With regard to the law itself, I personally think that it is in the best interest of all people to have this law examined again to see if there are other things they can improve without inconveniencing the masses.