Cayetano threatens to block LTO’s 2016 budget

Katerina Francisco

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Cayetano threatens to block LTO’s 2016 budget
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano says the LTO and the government have nothing to lose if they implement a 30-day moratorium on the 'no plate, no travel' policy

MANILA, Philippines – Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano is threatening to block the proposed 2016 budget of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) if the agency won’t declare a moratorium on the implementation of its “no registration, no travel” policy.

Walang mawawala sa LTO at sa gobyerno kung sa loob ng 30 araw ‘wag muna ipatupad ang ‘No plate, no travel’ policy (LTO and the government have nothing to lose if it does not implement the ‘No plate, no travel’ policy for 30 days),” Cayetano said on Tuesday, April 21.

He added: “Threatening vehicle owners with stiff penalties for a problem LTO created is grossly unfair and must stop. At the same time, a moratorium will allow the LTO enough time to set its house in order by fully servicing backlogs of vehicle owners and car dealers.”

The senator earlier called for a 30-day moratorium on the implementation of the LTO’s rule, which came into effect on April 1.

Under the policy, motorists using vehicles without license plates face fines unless they can present documents showing that the vehicle has been registered.

Owners of unregistered vehicles will be fined P10,000, while the driver will be fined P1,000. Those who are able to present vehicle registration documents will only be fined P5,000 for failure to attach license plates.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) earlier refused to enforce the policy because it was “unfair” to drivers whose dealers had not turned over the new license plates that LTO had issued through them.

Cayetano also said motorists should not bear the burden of government inefficiency, blaming the LTO for the delay in the issuance of license plates.

“We remind the LTO that it collected more than P17.16 billion pesos in 2013, and P11 billion collected from Road User’s Tax,” he said.

“The failure of DOTC and LTO to serve their mandated tasks is inexcusable and unacceptable, yet they have the temerity to invoke the law penalizing victims of their inefficiency,” Cayetano added.

The senator has filed Senate Resolution 1288 to investigate the issue.

The LTO has defended the policy, adding that it has been able to issue license plates on time.

The agency earlier said it already released the plates to car dealers, and advised motorists to ask their dealers about it.

Some car owners, however, said both the LTO and car dealers were to blame for the delay in the release of new license plates.

US$1 = P44 

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