“This is a very positive development because for so long, we couldn’t move forward with license plate distribution. People are asking us all the time: where are our plates? Unfortunately, even if the plates are there, there are legal issues that need to be resolved first,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.
Boy Santos/File
11 million delayed car plates out soon
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - August 16, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Office (LTO) can now move forward with the release of the estimated 11 million vehicle license plates from as far back as 2013 after legal issues have been resolved.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) yesterday said it is now holding discussions to ensure that license plates from 2013 would be distributed to registered owners after the LTO received on July 17 the resolution lifting the Notice of Disallowance (ND) from the Commission on Audit (COA), six months after the Supreme Court lifted its temporary restraining order (TRO).

“This is a very positive development because for so long, we couldn’t move forward with license plate distribution. People are asking us all the time: where are our plates? Unfortunately, even if the plates are there, there are legal issues that need to be resolved first,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.

According to the DOTr, LTO officials recently met with the suppliers of the vehicle plates that were the subject of a TRO and the ND.

During the discussions, the LTO said the suppliers have been very cooperative.

“They assured us that they would just follow our lead. Whatever the government wants, that is what will happen. That’s why we are very positive that distribution of the license plates will happen soon,” LTO chief Edgar Galvante said.

The DOTr said the pending 11 million plates would be distributed after the LTO submits its recommendation on the amended contract next week.

The contract was awarded to the joint venture of Knieriem BV Goes and Power Plates Development Concept Inc. in 2013, as part of the five-year Motor Vehicle License Plate Standardization Program of the previous administration.

However, in July 2015, the COA ordered LTO to stop paying the suppliers for alleged violation of government procurement rules.

The disallowance covers the advance payment made by the LTO to the suppliers in June and July 2014 amounting to P477 million.

Of the 15 million plates, only four million have been distributed, resulting in a backlog of 11 million, according to the DOTr.

LTO chief Edgar Galvante said they are aiming to start distribution before the end of the year of the license plates for vehicles registered from 2013 until June 30, 2016.

“We are aiming for as soon as possible, but no definite date yet,” he said in a phone interview.

This comes as the COA lifted the notice of disallowance that covered LTO’s purchase of 300,000 license plates for cars and 400,000 license plates for motorcycles totaling P477,901,329.

Backlog in license plates from February 2014 to June 30, 2016 totals 8.3 million for both motor vehicles and motorcycles.?Meanwhile, the DOTr said the LTO has shipped most of the license plates, which were manufactured in its own plate-making facility, covering July 2016 to December 2017 to its regional offices.

On July 5, the LTO started the release of some 231,332 license plates for motor vehicles registered from July 2016 to December 2016.

Tugade earlier appealed for understanding from car owners as he said they should take into consideration the capability of the LTO to deliver the license plates.

He said the DOTr is delivering on President Duterte’s campaign promise to address the issue on license plates. – With Romina Cabrera

CAR PLATES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION LAND TRANSPORTATION OFFICE
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