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Car plates problem over as LTO vows faster service



THE Land Transportation Office (LTO) marked its 107th anniversary early this week, highlighted by the welcome news that the old problem of car plates, which began in 2013 during the previous administration, is finally solved.

For many years now, many vehicle owners in the country have not been able to get their car plates because of a problem that cropped up after the new Aquino administration launched a program to modernize the license plates of the country’s registered vehicles and awarded the contract to produce the plates to a joint venture. The Commission on Audit (COA), however, disallowed the contract in 2015 after only 4 million of 15 million plates had been issued.

The case went all the way up to the Supreme Court. In January, 2018, the court lifted its Notice of Disallowance and in July, 2018, the Department of Transportation approved amendments to the contract, and the LTO is now moving to finally and completely resolve the backlog on car plates.

All this was announced last May 21 by Assistant Secretary Edgar C. Gal­vante, chief of the LTO, on the occasion of its 107th anniversary. Aside from the resolution of the long-standing legal issue, the LTO, he said, has now reestablished the LTO’s own Plate Making Plant and automated production is now in full swing.

“We at the LTO are targeting to completely resolve the backlog on motor plates by mid-2020,” he said. This is LTO’s response, he said, to President Duterte’s challenge in his State of the Nation Address in July, 2010, that “Paglabas sa casa, may plaka na.”

The LTO, Galvante said, has now also put in place modern technology-based innovations in payments for the annual registration of motor vehicles, in improv­ing the motor vehicle inspection system, in the issuance of five-year drivers’ licenses and preparations for ten-year licenses, in online submission of medical certificates, in road safety operations, in an anti-colorum Oplan Barracuda, and in various innovations for faster and more efficient services with its Information and Communications Technology Center, a milestone in LTO’s history.

With all these innovations, and the end of that old problem of car plates, we look forward to better and more efficient service from this key agency, the Land Transportation Office, of the Department of Transportation.