MALACAÑANG on Monday said the new law on motorcycle plates, which President Rodrigo R. Duterte wants suspended, may still be implemented after all.

At a news conference at the Palace on Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said the concerns of motorcycle riders regarding the new law that requires the placement of bigger and color-coded number plates on both the front and the back sides may be addressed in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).

Mr. Duterte, in his speech in Iloilo City last Saturday, said that placing number plates on the front side of motorcycles would be “dangerous” because of their “sharp edges.”

According to Mr. Panelo, “Kung ang danger ay ito ay puwede namang gamutin doon sa IRR, ‘di gamutin natin (If the danger can be remedied by the IRR, then let us remedy it).”

“Baka naman doon sa implementing rules and regulation nakalagay ay sticker (Perhaps what is being stated in the IRR is the use of stickers),” he said. “So it will not endanger.”

However, the riders’ concerns on the prescribed fine of P50,000 up to P100,000 can only be addressed by Congress by amending the law.

“The Congress can always amend and reduce the penalty,” Mr. Panelo said.

Last Saturday, Mr. Duterte suggested that the size of the number plates may be increased by “one-fourth to make the numbers more visible,” noting that the back plates are “more important.”

Mr. Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11235, or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, on March 8.

The law is intended to prevent and penalize the use of motorcycles in the commission of crimes by requiring bigger, readable and color-coded number plates and identification marks.

Under the law, the LTO is tasked to issue a readable number plate for every motorcycle.

Senator Richard J. Gordon, the principal author and sponsor of the law, said last Sunday that he would explain to Mr. Duterte that the intention of the law is “to give justice to the victims of riding-in-tandem shooters who could no longer seek justice themselves because ‘dead men tell no tales.’” — Arjay L. Balinbin