LTO’s 3-day income ‘enough’ for 5.2M license cards procurement

April 29, 2023 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 237 views

THE P249 million the Land Transportation Office (LTO) needs for it to buy 5.2 million plastic driver’s license cards is what the agency earns “in a mere three and half days,” House Deputy Speaker Ralph Recto said Saturday.

“Hindi kakulangan ng pera ang dahilan, pero tila kakulangan sa diskarte,” Recto said.

“Not all procurement debacles stem from lack of money. Some are caused by inefficiency, by agencies rich in resources but poor in foresight,” he said.

Recto said LTO posted revenues of P26.68 billion last year, “which comes up to P73 million a day.”

“So it would only take three-and-half days of LTO collections to fund the P249 million required to purchase a year’s supply of plastic driver’s license cards,” Recto said.

At P19.32 billion, motor vehicle user’s charges and other registration fees accounted for the bulk of LTO collections in 2022.

Next were license fees, which contributed P3.24 billion. Fines and penalties added P3.08 billion to its collection haul.

“Doon pa lang sa bayad sa lisensiya, isang buwan lang na koleksiyon sapat ng pambili ng plastic cards na lisensiya,” Recto said.

LTO reported issuing 5.332 million new and renewed driver’s licenses and 1.640 million student permits last year.

Unlike typhoon damages whose rehabilitation costs cannot be predicted in advance, Recto said, “the volume of driver’s license cards needed annually is more or less set, and so is the budget to be allocated.”

“When it comes to procurement, LTO should have heeded its advice to drivers – to anticipate road conditions and be on the lookout for hazards,” he said.

Recto said, “if procurement red tape is the usual suspect for the delay, then fix it and learn the lesson so it won’t happen again.”

He said it is an irony that the Philippines, which is the “third largest contributor” to marine plastic pollution in the world, would be facing a shortage of plastic for beneficial use.

A 2021 World Bank study said, “a staggering 2.7 million tons of plastic waste are generated in the Philippines each year, and an estimated 20 percent ends up in the ocean.”