Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo floated this possibility after the President on Saturday (April 6) said he would ask the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to suspend the new law amid concerns that it could put motorcycle riders in danger.
The new law requires two bigger plates - at the back and in front - to be placed on motorcycles. However, Duterte said it is dangerous as it could pierce through motorcycle riders’ helmets.
Panelo emphasized that the purpose for the suspension of the law is to determine whether there is a need to amend the legislation.
“Eh baka lang ibig sabihin ni Presidente, ‘Teka muna, tingnan muna, baka naman delikado iyan. Tingnan mo nga kung totoo iyong mgafears.’ And then kung delikado nga (Perhaps the President meant, ‘Wait a minute, let’s see first, it might be dangerous. Let’s see if their fears are valid.’ And then, if it really is dangerous) then he will ask Congress to amend it,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
“Why should you be pursuing a law which you feel to be something dangerous when it is implemented? You will ask Congress to amend it immediately,” he added.
Panelo, however, said that an amendment to the law may not be necessary if the law’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) already address these concerns.
“Kung ang danger ay ito ay puwede namang gamutin doon sa IRR, di gamutin natin (If these dangers can be addressed by the IRR, then we should address them),” Panelo said.
“You cannot implement that without the implementing rules and regulations. So kaya siguro iyon ang ibig sabihin ng Presidente, ‘Tingnan ninyo muna nang mabuti (So perhaps that’s what the President meant, ‘Review it thoroughly’),” Panelo said.
Panelo said Congress can also be asked to reduce the penalty for violators after the President complained that these fines were “too high.”
Duterte earlier said he wanted the PHP50,000 fine for violators lowered to between PHP10,000 and PHP15,000.
“The Congress can always amend and reduce the penalty,” Panelo said.
At present, he said the President will await the recommendation of the LTO before deciding whether the IRR was enough to address these concerns or if an amendment of the law was necessary.
Earlier, LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante said the Duterte pronouncement will guide them in the ongoing crafting of the law’s IRR. The LTO has 90 days to complete the IRR.