LTO refutes COA report of license plate backlogs from 2014 to 2020

Maris Federez   •   August 13, 2021   •   470

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Audit (COA) reported in its 2020 Annual Audit Report that more than eight million motorcycle plates dating back from 2014 to 2020 remained undistributed.

The report also said that from 2015 to 2020, 2.6 million motor vehicles still need replacements of their license plates.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO), however, said the agency has already taken measures to address the issue and has, in fact, reduced the backlog.

“I think nung ginawa yon, medyo audit ng much earlier dates yon eh. Kaya mayroon nang pagbabago doon. Kaya siguro yung 8 million na yon, na-reduce na. Para i-explain din namin kung ano na yung nai-comply namin out of that,” LTO Chief Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvantez said.

“But again, we honor the report of COA and we’ll attend to the issues that have been pointed out in that report,” he added.

Asec. Galvantez said one of the problems they encounter is the funding to be used for the production of replacement license plates based on the new measurement implemented in 2018.

The LTO has also released a statement on Friday afternoon to further clarify the issue.

It said that the contract in question was signed in 2014 between the then Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and PPI-JKG Philippines, Inc. (PPI-JKG) for the delivery of 5.2 million pairs of Motor Vehicle (MV) plates and 9.9 million pieces of motorcycle plates, to supply the LTO license plate requirements up to 2017.

The LTO said that out of the deliverables, over 4 million pairs of MV plates and more than 7.2 million pieces of MC plates were undelivered.

In 2015, LTO’s payment to the PPI-JKG was disallowed by COA which resulted in the suspension of the payment to the supplier which, in turn, led to the stoppage of the production and delivery of the license plates from the LTO.

The agency added that due to the disallowance, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order on the distribution of the produced plates following scrutiny by several lawmakers.

The statement further said that the Duterte administration was confronted with the production and distribution backlog of millions of license plates when it took over in 2016.

DOTr granted the request of the LTO to acquire funds for a new contract for the production of license plates while waiting for the resolution on the COA disallowance of the previous contract.

It was in 2018 when the Notice of Disallowance was lifted. In the same year, the agency started the rehabilitation of the LTO Plate Making Plant that expedited the production of license plates that used to be outsourced.

It was also in the same year that the DOTr-LTO started the release of motor vehicle plates registered in July 2016.

Currently, the statement said, the LTO, continues to prevent a recurrence of backlogs in the issuance of MV license plates and MC plates.

In its latest data, LTO recorded a total of 3,940,705 pairs of motor vehicle plates produced as of 10 August 2021.

For motorcycle plates, LTO’s latest record shows that as of 10 August 2021, a total of 6,019,150 pieces were produced by the agency from 2014. Of this number, 3,649,114 were produced from 2018 featuring the new design of MC plates.

The LTO further said that the reported backlog in the production of plates is due in large part to the lack of budget of the LTO.

From the budget it requested for 2020 amounting to PhP1,869,274,000, only PhP696,747,000 was granted.

And for the budget that the agency requested for 2021 of PhP3,574,755,000, only PhP925,412,000 was allocated.

The LTO stressed that out of this allocation, only PhP 736,747,000 was actually released to the agency which, it said, would only be sufficient to supply the license plates for the calendar year 2021, and not the backlog.

To date, the LTO has requested a budget allocation of PhP2,616,364,198.17 for the calendar year 2022 so that the agency can meet the demand to produce 16 million license plates by June 30, 2022.

The agency assured that the current LTO administration is doing everything it can to address all the MC and MV plate backlogs. —/mbmf (with details from UNTV Correspondent Asher Cadapan, Jr.)

DOTr asks Google to include PH bike lane routes in map app

Robie de Guzman   •   November 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Thursday said it has requested Google to include the country’s bike lane routes in the dashboard of its popular real-time navigation app Google maps.

The DOTr said the inclusion of bike lanes on Google maps will help cyclists on their daily commutes.

“This will be a very good innovation for Google Maps considering that many Filipinos now are riding bikes as their main mode of transportation which brings significant health and environmental benefits especially amid the pandemic,” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a statement.

Google has yet to approve DOTr’s request but Tugade expressed confidence the tech giant will most likely pursue the suggestion as it is a supporter of active transport.

“We have asked Google to consider this suggestion top priority considering the increasing number of Filipino cyclists. We are confident that we can win their support on this,” said Tugade.

The DOTr said it has already completed its 500-kilometer bike lane network in metropolitan cities across the Philippines.

The bike lane network includes Metro Manila (313.12 kilometers), Metro Cebu (129.47 kilometers), and Metro Davao (54.74 kilometers).

Bike lanes have pavement markings, physical separators, solar-powered road studs, thermoplastic paints, road signages, and bike racks.

The project was funded under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, the DOTr said.

Wearing of face shields in public transport no longer required in areas under alert levels 1 to 3 – DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   November 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The wearing of face shields in all public transportation will no longer be mandatory in areas under COVID-19 Alert Level 1, 2, and 3, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Tuesday.

The DOTr made the announcement after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on the following protocols:

  • For areas under Alert Level 5 and granular lockdowns, the use of face shields in community settings shall be mandatory;
  • For areas under Alert Level 4, local government units (LGUs) and private establishments are given discretion to mandate the use of face shields; and
  • For areas under Alert Levels 3, 2 and 1, the use of face shields shall be voluntary.

DOTr representative to the IATF-EID and Undersecretary for Administrative Services Artemio Tuazon Jr. said the department will immediately enforce the protocols on the use of face shields.

“In line with the directive issued by the IATF, which was also approved by the Palace, wearing of face shields in areas, where Alerts Level 1, 2 and 3 are in place, is no longer mandatory. It will be voluntary,” Tuazon said in a statement.

To recall, all passengers in any mode of public transportation were required to wear face shields, aside from face masks, effective August 1, 2020.

Meanwhile, despite the lifting of the mandatory use of face shields, the DOTr reminded that public that stringent preventive measures remain in effect to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in all public transport facilities.

These include the mandatory wearing of face mask, strict enforcement of the social distancing measure, and frequent sanitation.

Talking and eating are likewise discouraged inside all public transportation, the DOTr added.

The government lifted the mandatory use of face shields in public areas amid declining cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines.

Listahan ng PUJ drivers at operators na makakakuha ng fuel subsidy, isinasapinal na – LTFRB

Robie de Guzman   •   November 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Isinasapinal na ng Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) ang listahan ng public utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers at operators na kwalipikado sa fuel subsidy program ng pamahalaan.

Ayon kay LTFRB Technical Division Head Joel Bolano, nasa 136,000 ang bilang ng mga benepisyaryo ng programa batay sa inilathala ng Department of Transportation (DOTr)

Ngunit paglilinaw ng opisyal, maaari pang mabago ang listahan ng mga benepisyaryo dahil kasama pa sa naturang bilang ang mga dati nang nakakuha ng bank account card sa ilalim ng pantawid pasada program noong 2018 at 2019.

Ayon kay Bolano, posibleng hindi na aktibo ang ilan sa mga benepisyaryo kaya kailangan pa munang ayusin ang listahan at isama ang ibang tsuper at operator na hindi nakakuha noon ng bank card pati na ang mga bagong operator.

“So, from the 136 (thousand) na iyon, baka yung iba inactive na. So, fina-finalize lang kaya mag-a-adjust talaga iyon. So, may effect iyon doon sa individual na amount,” ang pahayag ng opisyal.

Muli namang paalala ng LTFRB sa PUJ drivers at operators na gagamitin lang ang fuel subsidy para sa pamamasada alinsunod sa nilagdaan nilang kasunduan.

Ibibigay ang card sa mga tsuper upang magamit sa mga gasolinahan kapag kakargahan ng krudo sa kanilang operasyon.

Maaari din namang ang operator ang magpa-gas upang matiyak na walang gagastusin ang driver sa pagkakarga ng krudo.

Babala ng LTFRB, maaaring patawan ng parusa ang mga operator sakaling may paglabag sa programa.

Sa ngayon, patuloy na naghahanda ang LTFRB para sa pagpapatupad ng programa.

“Hopefully, mai-start na natin within this November mairo-rollout na natin iyan kasi ang pagkakaalam ko papasok na yung fund galing sa DBM to DOTr itong week na ito,” ani Bolano.

Ayon sa LTFRB, malalaman sa mga susunod na araw ang halaga ng subsidiyang makukuha ng mga tsuper kapag naisapinal na ang listahan ng mga benepisyaryo. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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