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        JV Ejercito: The ‘doble plaka’ law is unfinished business

        What if?
        by Aris Ilagan Aug 27, 2021
        PHOTO: JV Ejercito

        Whether he’s riding motorcycles, visiting historical places, or enjoying food from unheard-of restaurants, former senator JV Ejercito is quite visible on social media these days as a solo rider.

        Ejercito has partnered with the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Philippine Tourism Board (PTB) in promoting domestic tourism amid hopes that the health situation in the country will improve in the near future.

        The primary goal of his battle plan ‘PH Motourismo’ is to spur economic activities in the countryside, which was hit hard by the pandemic. Aside from being busy with the advocacy, Ejercito is also often asked by fellow riders about what happened to his campaign to amend Republic Act No. 11235 or the ‘Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act.’

        Let us refresh your memory. The then-senator was among the signatories when the controversial measure was passed by Congress in March 2019 and eventually signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte. After a while, Ejercito and Duterte realized that the so-called ‘doble plaka’ law was not only discriminatory to riders, but also unconstitutional. 

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        “Unfortunately, I didn’t make it (in the May 2019) elections. Maaaring yung riders nagtampo sa akin at naapektuhan ako. Pero may riders na tumulong pa rin sa akin (during the campaign),” says Ejercito during the Motogarahe podcast aired last night. He fell short at 13th place that year.

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        Sayang, kung andun pa ako sa Senado, ipa-follow up ko kay Presidente ito. Noong nawala na ako sa Senado, wala na akong personality. ‘Citizen JV Ejercito’ na lang ako,” he adds. “Sana, baka by now, amended na itong batas na ito.”

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        In July 2019, Duterte ordered the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to suspend the implementation of the doble plaka law and, at the same time, asked the legislators to amend the law. Ejercito, for his part, became active in pushing for changes to RA 11235 in Congress.

        He shares, “Sabi nga ng riders: May mga rider diyan na in-elect (to Congress), pero ang tanong, anong nagawa nila?”

        Although the salient points of RA 11235 remain unchanged, the LTO has suspended the implementation of some of its provisions, particularly the use of the front metal license plate. Nonetheless, Ejercito said he was able to convince LTO chief Edgar Galvante to require motorcycle owners to install RFID stickers from the licensing agency while the issue on front metal plates hangs in the balance.

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        Wala akong sinisisi. Kung ako ang sinisisi nila (riders), naintindihan ko ang galit nila,” he says, “Ako ang pinag-initan. Without knowing yung intention ko was for the convenience and lessen elimate the harassment of riders.”

        If anything, Ejercito is still weighing his options for next year’s senatorial race since his half-brother, former senator Jinggoy Estrada, has also been showing signs of eyeing the same post again.

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        PHOTO: JV Ejercito

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