Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. recently called for a ban on the issuance of low-numbered plates on vehicles of high-ranking government officials, but excluding the President and foreign envoys. He filed Senate Bill 1158 canceling all low-numbered car plates beginning from No. 2, all the way down to the numbers now being assigned to the cabinet and bureau directors. I support Senator Pimentel's bill because the issuance and the abusive use of one-digit (and even two-digit) plate numbers paints an ugly picture that top-level public servants are a special lot, giving them and their chauffeurs a twisted notion that their plate numbers are a license to break traffic rules, parking anywhere they like, including spaces reserved for the handicapped. Many government officials and middle-level bureaucrats today drive around like members of royalty in heavily-tinted vehicles sporting low-numbered plates. My pet-peeve are the not-so-honorable congressmen (including those who abuse vanity plates) with their No. 8 cars and their PGH100 or PPSA or PNPA commemorative plates. One sees them all over. But why has the LTO issued plates for congressmen now without the respective province and district indicated below, and not just the simple "Matatag Na Republika" or "Perlas Ng Silangan," lest they be covered with masking tape to escape identification and detection in the event of a traffic violation or altercation? Many relatives, in-laws and staff members of these congressmen fantasize being congressmen themselves and abuse these plates as well. There's always at least one in your community. It's a common sight these days.

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