Philippines: Vehicles required to install RFID microchips starting October

MOTORISTS WILL be required to install radio frequency identification (RFID) microchips on their vehicles beginning next month in an effort to crack down on various violations.

The device would check against non-registration of vehicle, traffic violation, car theft, and public utilities without permit or franchise, among others

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) would require the chip to be installed during vehicle registration, including those of motorcycles, for a fee of P350.

The microchip, which should be installed in a conspicuous location such as the windshield, would have information regarding the engine and chassis number as well as license plate number, color, make, series, registration data, owner information, franchise and vehicle route.

The microchip would be read by a transmitter that would be randomly set up nationwide, and the information would be relayed to the LTO.

Vince Dizon, vice-president for public relations of Stradcom Corp., the LTO’s private sector partner in the project, told BusinessWorld yesterday: “The system is there to prevent colorum and even curb carnapping. But there is no way that the system can be used to track people because it can only work if it passes through a reader. And the cost is also small because registrants only need to pay once.”

He added the device would last for 10 years.

Stradcom handles the LTO’s information technology (IT) improvements.

Consultations conducted

Transportation Assistant Secretary Arturo C. Lomibao, LTO chief, said in a radio interview yesterday that consultations on the scheme were done in Davao, Cebu and the National Capital Region.

This was affirmed by 1-Utak party-list Rep. Vigor D. Mendoza, the transport group’s chairman, who said in an interview: “We were actually consulted in three different public meetings. Maybe those who were not consulted and were surprised by the project’s implementation should ask for a stay.”

Other transport groups were unavailable for comment.

Mr. Dizon said the one-time payment for the microchip would fund the system’s maintenance.

“Part goes to the government because the tagging is done by LTO employees in their offices. But it is Stradcom that would put up the system and maintain it,” he added.

The project did not undergo public bidding since it is “part of the project management for registration in which Stradcom is the exclusive IT provider for the LTO,” Mr. Dizon said.

This position, however, could not be independently validated with Mr. Lomibao who was holed up in a meeting yesterday.

There is an estimated 5.9 million registered motor vehicles nationwide. — ENJD

Thursday, September 24, 2009 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

Source: Business World Online

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