LTO requests P2B budget, vows faster issuance of plates, licenses

LTO requests P2B budget, vows faster issuance of plates, licenses
But Senator Ralph Recto points out that the LTO promised the same performance targets for 2015 and apparently failed to meet them

MANILA, Philippines – With a request for a P1.97 billion budget for 2016, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) should make good on its promises to improve its performance, Senator Ralph Recto said.

“Like a car being brought to them for service, I would like the LTO guys to act like mechanics and give us the rundown of problems, meaning a complete diagnostics report, and how they will fix the problem, and like a good casa, tell us when it will be fixed,” Recto said in a statement on Monday, August 17.

The LTO has been facing a barrage of criticism in recent months over delays in the issuance of motor vehicle license plates and driver’s licenses.

In its budget request, the LTO attached a list of its performance pledges for 2016:

  • Car plates and stickers for brand-new cars issued within 7 days
  • Registration of old cars, complete with car plates and stickers, done within 2 hours
  • New driver’s license processed within 4 hours
  • Old driver’s licenses renewed within an hour

Recto, however, questioned the LTO’s ability to meet its promises.

“Believe it or not, these are actually the same performance targets the LTO has set for itself this year,” he said.

“So we should ask them if they are now delivering plates for brand-new cars within a week, and what gives them the confidence to renew the same promise of processing speed for next year,” he added.

Earlier this year, the LTO required the replacement of more than 15 million license plates with the new black-and-white design as part of its license plate standardization program.

But motorists complained about the shortage of license plates, with many reporting months-long periods just to get their new plates.

In July, the LTO told lawmakers that 73.92% of the plates the agency requested from the supplier from January to June 2015 have been delivered. (READ: LTO: Supply of license plates back to normal soon)

Targets for 2016

For 2016, the LTO has promised to shorten the waiting period for the issuance of driver’s licenses and motor vehicle registration.

Among the agency’s major final outputs is the registration of 8.33 million motor vehicles and the issuance of 5.25 million driver’s licenses.

For new vehicle registrations, the LTO vowed to issue the new plates and stickers within 7 days. Meanwhile, vehicle registration renewals should be completed within two hours.

For the issuance of driver’s licenses, the LTO said that 90% of new applications for driver’s licenses will be “acted upon within 4 hours of receipt of compliant applications.”

For license renewals, the waiting period is expected to be only one hour.

Recto, however, pointed out that the wording on the LTO’s commitment was vague.

“What do you mean by ‘acted upon’? Can we replace it with a clearer language, like ‘a driver’s license shall be issued within one hour’?” Recto asked.

For 2016, the LTO is expected to have an operating budget of P1.97 billion, of which P801.8 million will come from road users’ tax collections, while P82.8 million will be derived from seat belt fines. – Rappler.com

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