A Change of Heart? QC Mayor Vetoes ‘Plakavest’ Ordinance

August 19, 2014


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A recent spate of crimes committed by riding in tandem hoodlums has remained unsolved, which prompted local city governments to find ways to curb and prevent these crimes. The Quezon City council proposed an ordinance requiring motorcycle riders to wear vests with the license numbers printed on them. The proposal met so much flack from motorcycle riders and enthusiasts.

Yesterday, QC Mayor Herbert Bautista held a press conference and announced that he is vetoing the ‘Plakavest’ ordinance of the city council upon the advice of the city legal council. He described the ordinance as “sweeping” and “unwieldy,” which could expose the government to “damages and liabilities.” He cited one of the observations of the city council committee on laws, rules, and internal government, that it was irrational to single out motorcycle riders and presuming they are going to commit a crime. Besides, criminal elements would never comply with the ordinance, and wearing a replica or a stolen vest is a possibility. The ordinance would be prejudicial to legitimate riders and motorcycle owners. However, Mayor Bautista is giving all stakeholders and the council a month to propose a more comprehensive ordinance for motorcycle riders.

Mayor Bautista urged the council to reconsider and determine whether a registration at the barangay level would be a more viable option. A barangay level registration and restrictions on motorcycle routes could possibly eliminate illegal activities. Bautista is also pushing for regulations on the use of motorcycles, the sale of used motorcycles, and limiting riders based on the load capacity. Aside from these suggestions, all the suggestions and alternatives proposed at the height of the heated debate on the ‘Plakavest’ ordinance should be considered when crafting the new motorcycle ordinance.

Bautista expressed his willingness to sign a motorcycle ordinance that comprehensively includes safety, health, security, and environment that would benefit his constituents and the public. His veto brought cheers from the opponents of the ordinance. Nevertheless, he warned anti-‘Plakavest’ advocates against celebrating early because the more comprehensive ordinance might also require them to wear ‘Plakavest’ after all.

The ‘Plakavest’ ordinance for some would appear to be a knee jerk reaction from the government and not well thought. With only a month to propose a comprehensive motorcycle ordinance, it would not be surprising if the new proposal will meet the same fate as its predecessor.

To solve the crimes perpetrated by riding in tandem criminals and bring the criminals to justice are urgent matters for both the government and the public. But, haste makes waste, as the popular adage has taught many generations. All stakeholders must reconsider their positions and find consensus to pass an ordinance that is equitable, fair, and effective. 

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