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Speaker urges LTO chief to quit over car plates backlog

  • Written by Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 121

SPEAKER Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez urged yesterday Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief, Assistant
Secretary Edgar Galvante, to resign for his failure to solve the problem of car plates.

In a press briefing, Alvarez said the problem of the car plate backlog is a relatively simple
matter to address and the fact that it still persists until today means Galvante is not fit for the
job as head of the LTO.
    
“More than one year ka nang nakaupo diyan at wala pa ring plaka ’yung mga sasakyan. Aba, the
most logical thing for you to do is to resign. Ibig sabihin hindi mo kaya ’yung trabaho,” Alvarez
said.
    
He noted that it is one of the issues President Duterte had raised when the latter was
campaigning for the presidency. Duterte had lamented that it takes years before car owners can obtain
their licence plates.
    
“Ganu’n ba kahirap ’yung plaka? Naging secretary din ako ng DOTC (Department of Transportation
and Communications) noon and I could not see any reason why hindi natin maibigay ’yung plaka. Napaka-
simple na problema ’yan eh,” Alvarez said.
    
Asked for his suggestion to address the problem, Alvarez said Galvante must step down to give
way for a more capable LTO chief.
    
“Ang ma-suggest ko diyan is for Asec Galvante to resign so the President can appoint a person
na kayang gawin ’yung trabaho,” he stressed.
    
Earlier in the day, Alvarez also raised the issue in the hearing of the House Committee on
Transportation over several pending bills affecting the transport sector.
    
Alvarez noted that Galvante, who was invited to the hearing, was not present and did not
present the official next in rank who would be able to answer questions from the committee.
    
According to LTO representative Atty. Jane Paras Leynes, Galvante is in a hospital for medical
treatment.
    
The committee hearing focused, among others, on House Bill (HB) No. 6455 seeking to cut red
tape and speed up the process of registration of imported motor vehicles.
    
Alvarez and Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento, who chairs the House committee on
transportation, are the authors of the bill.
    
He said LTO must simplify the process so as not to make it difficult for ordinary motor
vehicle owners.
    
The discussion soon veered into other problems in the LTO, including the backlog of car
plates.
    
In defense of the LTO, Leynes said the agency’s bids and awards committee is currently in the
process of procuring car plates to address the backlog.
    
She said the LTO expects to finalize the procurement of the car plates by the end of the first
quarter of 2018.
    
Reports said that as of the middle of July this year, the backlog stands at around 7 million.
    
“Ganu’n ba kahirap bilhin ’yun? Andami namang ano diyan, supplier ng plaka siguro. Bakit
ganu’n kahirap, wala bang gumagawa niyan? What’s taking you so long?” Alvarez said.
    
According to Perez, the procurement process was delayed because there is no budget for car
plate procurement for the year 2016 and 2017 as the last procurement contract in 2014 covers car plate
supply until 2018.