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New year, new LTO chief

Robertzon Ramirez - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – The Land Transportation Office (LTO), hounded by controversies over undelivered license cards and car plates as well as questionable contracts, is set to have a new head on Monday.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) executive director Robert Cabrera will take the place of Alfonso Tan Jr., who resigned in mid-December reportedly due to job pressure.

Tan’s resignation came as the agency was grappling with allegations of irregularities in the distribution of car plates and driver’s license cards.

Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya confirmed Tan’s resignation and his replacement by Cabrera but clarified the LTO chief was not fired.

“He wasn’t sacked. He voluntarily resigned in November I think because of family,” Abaya told The STAR in a text message.

Abaya said he had requested Tan “to hold on” until the President had appointed a replacement. The LTO is under the DOTC.

LTO sources said Tan, who was appointed LTO chief in September 2011, submitted his resignation in the second week of December after bidding employees goodbye during a flag raising ceremony.

Tan had also met with regional directors to say goodbye to them. 

In a previous interview, Tan denied job pressures prompted him to resign. 

A source said Tan’s resignation should have been announced, but the LTO has chosen to remain silent on his decision.

On Thursday, LTO spokesman Jason Salvador said “nothing official” when asked about Tan’s resignation.

Cabrera faces numerous problems when he takes the helm of the LTO, including the 700,000 backlog in driver’s licenses.

Before Tan’s resignation, the Manila regional trial court (RTC) stopped the award and payment of the driver’s license card supply contract to Allcard Philippines Inc.

The Commission on Audit also ordered the LTO to stop the license plate deal with Dutch-Filipino consortium PPI-JKG Philippines Inc. for violating the procedures prescribed under Republic Act 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

The LTO said it has coordinated with the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to exhaust all legal remedies against the COA and Manila RTC’s decisions.

The LTO was also criticized for an administrative order requiring public utility drivers to submit clearances from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) before they can get their driver’s license. The LTO eventually suspended the directive.

ABAYA

ACIRC

ALFONSO TAN JR.

ALLCARD PHILIPPINES INC

BEFORE TAN

CABRERA

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS

GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT REFORM ACT

JASON SALVADOR

LTO

TAN

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