DRIVER’S LICENSE ‘ANOMALY’


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Latest News Philippines: DRIVER’S LICENSE ‘ANOMALY’ – Journal.com.ph:

AT least three administration lawmakers slammed the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) over an alleged highly irregular and very unusual driver’s license supply arrangement.

Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño, Citizens Battle Against Corruption Rep. Sherwin Tugna and Camiguin Rep. Pedro Romualdo said that the present agreement of the LTO with the supplier Amalgamated Motors Philippines Inc (AMPI) is grossly disadvantageous to the government and violates the procurement law.

According to Casiño, the shutdown of operations of the LTO’s driver’s license facility which is now entering its third week is cause for concern for Congress as the number of affected motorists increases daily. He also pointed out it as been discovered that the supplier of the LTO and DoTC is operating without a contract.

“By the looks of it the LTO-DoTC arrangement with AMPI is highly irregular and very unusual because it is standard operating procedure for any kind of procurement the government undertakes to pass through a public bidding,” Casiño said.

Casiño said that the DoTC and the LTO should explain to the public why since 1984 the AMPI has no legal contract with the government and in fact never had a bidding which is SOP for a government project.

For 2012, the general allotment for drivers license production of the DoTC-LTO is P600 million while 2011’s budget was P544 million.  Casiño said AMPI has earned a total of P3.4 billion since 2008 from the government without a valid contract since 1986.

During the present administration, AMPI has already earned more than P1 billion, the solon noted.

Casiño finally said that the AMPI arrangement is highly questionable considering the length of time that AMPI has been operating without a contract and that he will invite the officials of the agencies concerned to investigate the matter and to answer all his queries.

Tugna on the other hand added that “from the start the DoTC- LTO should have bid out the contract for the LTO licensing system from the time of expiry of the contract.”

“However, they failed to do so and just continued with the contract with AMPI based on quantum merit system (meaning babayaran na lang ng government ang lahat ng delivery out of a sense of fairness and para hindi ma-disrupt ang pag-issue ng lisensya),” Tugna said.

The solon stressed that this practice is not good for the country because competition in the bidding process will produce the lowest cost and the best quality licenses.

For his part, Romualdo is calling for an investigation to determine the culpability of the DoTC and LTO for allowing such system to the detriment of the government.

“There is an urgent need to look into the matter as it affects the integrity of the institutions like the DoTC and LTO in handling a multi-billion peso transaction which has been unilaterally and arbitrarily entered in favor of AMPI to the gross disadvantage of the government and the public,” Romualdo said.

Romualdo had already raised the issue before the House Committee on Good Government and in fact had filed a House resolution about the AMPI issue.

Industry experts say that the cost of AMPI to the LTO for one driver’s license of P200  which is passed on to the motorist is overpriced with the actual cost for an excellent securitized PVC type card including air freight and taxes only reaching P50 while the downgraded paper based license that AMPI implemented two weeks ago costs only P20.

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