New Philippine Land Transport Office Chief: “Corrupt Officials, Your Days Are Numbered!”
What does our Philippine Automologist, HAROLD, think of the new LTO Chief?
The Philippine automotive industry welcomes the appointment of lawyer and successful businessman Atty. Jay Art Tugade as the new Chief of the Philippine Land Transportation Office (LTO). The Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary, former Philippine Airlines CEO, Jaime Baustista, has tall orders for this tall new LTO Chief to rid the office of the “corruption mafia” that is so entrenched in its operations.
LTO is among the most corrupt agencies in the Philippine bureaucracy. It is an open secret that people can get driver’s licenses without proper driving lessons and without passing the required driving tests by just going through paid “fixers” stationed in almost all LTO offices nationwide. No wonder there are so many accidents on the road, especially involving unqualified motorcycle riders.
Another open secret is that unroadworthy vehicles spewing hazardous exhaust are getting registered via unscrupulous emission centres giving passing marks even without the vehicles present for testing (“no show” testing). Roadworthy tests by technically sound, professionally-run, digitally-linked and corruption-free Motor Vehicle Inspection Centres are not made mandatory by LTO because they are protecting the software provider, emission testing owners and fixers, generating more bribery payments for corrupt LTO officials.
Oh, and one of the greatest cash cows in the LTO are the insurance policies, costing the registrants at least twice their actual costs.
Then there is yet another corrupt LTO practice which is registering illegally imported, stolen, unpaid and mortgaged vehicles. Add to this the corruption-ridden procurement of license plates. The bribes from all these run in the billions a year.
And protecting this corrupt system is LTO’s usage of an old registration system instead of mandating the use of the new and better registration system (called LTMS).
But, LTO Chief Tugade is heading in the right direction when he said that he will terminate and send to prison corrupt LTO officials and mandate full digitalization of the agency. Easier said than done, Atty Jay Art. But if you can do this, this writer will buy you dinner since the last time we met, you paid for lunch.
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