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Quit if you can’t provide plates, LTO exec told

MANILA, Philippines — If you cannot do a simple job like providing license plates for new vehicles, you should resign.

This was the message that Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez conveyed yesterday to Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Edgar Galvante.

“Please make sure that this message reaches Assistant Secretary Galvante,” Alvarez told lawyer Jane Leynes, who represented the LTO at yesterday’s hearing on transportation-related issues.

The Speaker said he could not understand why the LTO has not procured and issued license plates for new vehicles.

Reports said as of July, the backlog of plates stands at around 7 million.

P***** ina (son of a b****), you have been there for one and a half years and you cannot resolve a simple issue like this? I was secretary of transportation (during the Arroyo administration) and I don’t think this is a difficult problem,” an angry Alvarez said.

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He said Galvante should resign so President Duterte could appoint someone “who can do the job better.”

“You are even causing embarrassment to the President, who promised to solve this problem during the election campaign,” Alvarez added.

Leynes informed the Speaker that the LTO would procure license plates during the first quarter of 2018.

She said the LTO could not do it this year “because there were no funds for that purpose in our budgets last year and this year.”

“You knew about this problem from the start and you could have realigned funds and submitted a request to us. We would have surely supported you,” Alvarez said, addressing himself to Galvante through Leynes.

As it is, he said thousands of buyers of new cars have been waiting for months for their license plates.

The Speaker also inquired about the issuance of driver’s license cards. Leynes informed him that the LTO has resumed the issuance of plastic cards.

He told transportation officials that he could not understand why they make people transacting business with them suffer.

“I could not understand why, for instance, you are requiring clearances from the PNP (Philippine National Police) and DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) for new cars, local or imported,” he said.

Leyte said the law requires such clearances.

Alvarez asked transportation committee chairman Rep. Cesar Sarmiento of Catanduanes to review the law and recommend changes.

Alvarez also raised the pending bills concerning the transport sector. One of the measures is House Bill 6455, which seeks to cut red tape and speed up the process of registration of imported motor vehicles. Alvarez and Sarmiento are the authors of the bill.  –  Delon Porcalla

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