Executive Order 56 issued for stricter regulations of special license plates

Updated Apr 17, 2024 | Same topic: Latest Traffic Updates

The EO reduced the number of officials who can use these low-numbered plates. 

President Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos has signed Executive Order (EO) 56 in a bid to prevent the abuse of issued protocol plates. The said EO was published in the Philippine Official Gazette a few days ago, and it comes amid several incidents of illegal EDSA busway usage by vehicles equipped with protocol plates. 

An old protocol license plate [Photo source: Philippine Information Agency]

An old protocol license plate [Photo source: Philippine Information Agency]

The said EO specifically amends EO No. 400 Series of 2005 by reducing the number of qualified officials who can get these plates. Previously, a total of 16 officials were authorized to use these special license plates

Government officials listed under EO 56 as authorized to use protocol plate numbers are as follows: 

  • one (1) is the president
  • two (2) for vice president
  • three (3) for the Senate President
  • four (4) for the Speaker of the House
  • five (5) for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
  • six (6) for Cabinet Secretaries
  • seven (7) for senators
  • eight (8) for Members of the House of Representatives
  • nine (9) for Associate Justices of the Supreme Court
  • 10 for the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals (CA)/Court of Tax Appeals (CTA)/Sandiganbayan/Solicitors General
  • 11 for the Chairperson of the Constitutional Commission/Ombudsman
  • 14 for the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Chief of the Philippine National Police.

The officials that are no longer allowed to use protocol plates include cabinet undersecretaries (12), Regional Trial Court Judges (16), and Sha’ria Court Judges (17).  

Furthermore, the number of plates that can be issued to officials has been reduced down to three sets for the President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House, and Chief Justice. Other official posts authorized to use protocol plates under EO 56 may get only two pairs. 

The new EO likewise stated that issued protocol plates are only valid within an official’s term of office. Plus, only vehicles registered under their name may use the said plates. Upon their retirement, resignation, or end of term, their protocol plates must be surrendered to the Land Transportation Office (LTO). 

The latter rule renders plates issued under EO 400, which was issued during the tenure of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, to be invalid unless the official using a given protocol plate is still incumbent. 

Only five top officials are authorized to pass through the EDSA bus lane

Only five top officials are authorized to pass through the EDSA bus lane

Continued usage of an expired protocol plate will result in penalties such as administrative sanctions as per existing laws. The LTO and other related agencies are likewise directed to confiscate protocol plates from unauthorized persons or motor vehicles. 

In the matter of the misuse of the EDSA bus lane, do remember that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) addressed the matter last year. 

The agency clarified that only five top officials may get to use the EDSA bus lane and not just anyone with a low-number protocol plate. These are the president, vice president, senate president, Speaker of the House, and the Chief Justice. 

All of that sounds well and good, but the question now is how concerned agencies will enforce the rules set by EO 56. 

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Cesar G.B. Miguel

Cesar G.B. Miguel


Cesar Guiderone B. Miguel was born and raised in Iligan City, Lanao Del Norte. He graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in English degree from Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology. He previously worked as a freelance writer for various websites, as a member of the Iligan City Disaster Risk Reduction Management's training staff, and as a medical sales representative.

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