President Rodrigo Duterte segued an order barring members of his Cabinet to use low-numbered or protocol license plates.
The President in a speech during the oath taking of newly-appointed officials on February 13 was talking about the policemen’s service to the country when he suddenly remembered the topic of plate numbers.
“Kaya pala ‘yung (That is why the) plate number… By the way, wala akong (I have no) plate number. I do not use it,” Duterte inserted in the middle of his speech.
He then added, “And no Cabinet member is allowed to use the ‘6.’”
Duterte who is entitled to have the ‘1’ number said, “You’re a very lonely man and you will die of boredom there.”
The President mentioned the number ‘2’ license plate entitled for the Vice President but did not elaborate much on it saying that he will just allow it.
Other low number assignments include ‘3’ for the Senate President, ‘4’ for the Speaker of the House of Representatives, ‘5’ for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, ‘7’ for the senators’ and ‘8’ for the congressmen.
Back in September last year during the lower chamber’s transportation committee hearing, Ilocos Norte Representative Rodolfo Fariñas proposed to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for lawmakers to be exempted from ‘minor’ traffic violations through a “parliamentary immunity.”
Fariñas admitted that he was strict when it came to late-comers during House of Representatives sessions, but he also mentioned that the country’s problem with the heavy traffic is affecting the solons’ performance in their service as well.
However, Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Order No. 2014-004 or Guidelines on the issuance and use of protocol plates, states that “protocol plates are likewise not exempt from traffic laws and local ordinances, such as the number coding.”