LTO rejects lawmakers’ proposal to terminate IT contract for vehicle, license services

May 14, 2024 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 117 views

THE Land Transportation Office (LTO) has rejected suggestions from lawmakers to terminate its land transportation management system (LTMS) contract with its current information technology service provider.

During the hearing of the House committee on transportation on Monday (yesterday), LTO chief Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza said his agency does not have the capability to take over LTMS, through which the registration of millions of motor vehicles in the country and driver’s licenses are processed every year.

“We cannot on our own run the system without the assistance of our IT service provider Dermalog,” he said in response to a question posed by committee chairman Antipolo Rep. Romeo Acop.

Dermalog is a German company that heads a joint venture with some local firms that the LTO had contracted in 2018 to develop and manage LTMS, which the government now owns. A German embassy representative monitored the hearing.

Mendoza said the LTO does not have sufficient IT knowhow and personnel to take in charge of the system.

“I assure you, Mr. Chairman, that our position is in the best interest of the government. We can explain it in a closed-door session because of the presence of parties here that are litigants in a case pending in the Supreme Court (involving the contract),” Mendoza responded.

Mendoza, a former party-list House member like Marcoleta, refused to heed the latter’s suggestion.

The LTO chief said he is new in his job, having been appointed only in July last year, and would have to check on the track record of Stradcom, which has earned billions from its previous engagement with LTO and whose service was marred with numerous inefficiencies.

“We will have to validate their capability to walk the talk,” Mendoza said.

Prodded by committee members to comment on the issue, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Undersecretary Reinier Paul Yebra said the DOTr was interested in efficient service.

“This is a contract between LTO and its IT provider. As the mother agency and per the directive of Secretary Jaime Bautista, we want to ensure na wala pong disruption sa service sa publiko,” he said.

There is a transition period during which Stradcom is required but has failed to turn over to LTO all data it had collected during the duration of its contract.

In a letter dated last May 2, Secretary Bautista reminded Stradcom president Anthony Quiambao to comply with the requirement.

He said the data submission “is crucial for a smooth transition to the new vehicle registration module and to expedite transaction processing for better service to our clients and stakeholders.”

“However, due to delays in transmission and missing data in the entries submitted, there are still obstacles to the execution and implementation of the new vehicle registration module of the LTO,” Bautista said in his letter.