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Failure to curb motorcycle crimes flagged

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Tens of thousands of crimes involving men on motorcycles have been reported since 2010, which could have been prevented had the government enforced bigger number plates, according to a senator.

Of 36,840 incidents from 2010 to May 2020, at least 8,805 involved killings reported killings, Senator Richard J. Gordon said on Friday. This year alone, there have been 25 crimes that led to 24 deaths, he added.

“Each time you delay, someone dies,” the lawmaker said at a hearing, referring to the Land Transportation Office’s failure to issue big motorcycle plates under the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, which he authored.

The LTO has produced 1.27 million motorcycle plates and distributed 875,154 plates nationwide. About 401,000 were in the process of being shipped. The regulator still has 13.2 million backlogs.

“The LTO plate-making plant has so far produced a total of 1.27 million of finished motorcycle plates,” LTO chief Edgar C. Galvante said at the hearing, noting that the coronavirus pandemic had limited the agency’s operations.

Guillermo T. Eleazar, policy deputy chief for administration, backed Mr. Gordon, noting that bigger number plates would help in investigations.

“It’s very difficult for our investigators even if we access available CCTV cameras because of how small the plates are,” he said in mixed English and Filipino. — Charmaine A. Tadalan

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