December 12, 2017, 10:41 am
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LTO finally acts on license plates

THE Land Transportation Office (LTO) yesterday said it has secured procurement of new vehicle license plates from a private contractor for nearly P980-million and initial delivery will begin March next year.

In a statement, the LTO said it has issued the notice of award (NOA) to the winning bidder, Trojan Computer Forms Manufacturing Corp. and J.H. Tonnjes E.A.S.T. GmbH & Co. KG Joint Venture, in the procurement of license plates last December 1.

The agency said the winning bidder “has already been required to provide the performance security” and it expects to receive the initial delivery of the license plates “sometime in March 2018.”

The LTO said this was made possible after Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade approved the request of LTO chief Edgar Galvante for additional funds to be included in the LTO’s 2017 budget, which amounted to P1 billion.

The LTO issued the statement a day after House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez urged Galvante to quit his post for failing to resolve the backlog on license plates. The agency has an estimated backlog of six million license plates.

After the House transportation committee hearing on Wednesday, Alvarez, himself a former transportation chief, told reporters that Galvante should resign to give way for a more capable LTO chief who could address the problem in issuing license plates to motorists.

“He (Galvante) has been occupying the position for more than one year now and yet the problem on the car-plate backlog still persists. The most logical thing for you (Galvante) to do is to resign so the President can appoint a person who could do the job,” Alvarez said.

The 2013 procurement of Motor Vehicle (MV) /Motorcycle (MC) plates was questioned before the courts and the Commission on Audit, and these cases remain pending to this day. The procurement should have covered the supply of license plates from ‎2014 to 2018.

The Supreme Court in June 2016 issued a temporary restraining order preventing the LTO and the then Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) from distributing 700,000 license plates turned over by the Bureau of Customs after “the plates’ supplier-importer failed to pay the required customs duties.” – Angela Lopez de Leon
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