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.
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.
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.
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.
‘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.