Poe to LTO: Review ‘chaotic’ digitalization program

June 9, 2023 PS Jun M. Sarmiento 124 views

SENATOR Grace Poe called on the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to make a thorough assessment of its digitalization program to deliver much-needed efficient and fast service to the public.

“Years in implementation and billions of money spent later, the Land Transportation Office’s digitalization initiative leaves much to be desired,” Poe said.

The head of the Senate public services committee said the LTO is still plagued with the same old problems – slow, if not unserviceable portal, long lines during application or renewal of licenses or registration, backlogs in license plates, and recently, close to 700,000 shortage in requirements as basic as plastic license cards.

“These show the agency’s digitalization plan is chaotic. Kumbaga sa computer software, nasa beta phase pa rin. Puro testing, hindi na umusad sa final implementation,” she said.

Poe’s panel, together with the Blue Ribbon Committee on Thursday, quizzed LTO officials about its P3.19-billion Road Information Technology infrastructure project amid allegations of corruption.

A 2021 Commission on Audit (COA) report has found that LTO has made “undue” and “unjust” payments to firms that allegedly “failed” to deliver the project.

“Why was the payment made despite the reported issues and deficiencies of the provider? What has the LTO done about this?” Poe asked.

Poe said the problems hounding the country’s land transportation agency have already piled up. Band-aid or stopgap measures are not remedies, the senator stressed.

“Hindi puwedeng kapag nagkaubusan ng plastic license cards, papel muna ang driver’s license. O kaya naman dahil ubos na ang plaka para sa motor, do-it-yourself na plaka muna ang gamitin,” she said.

“Ang digitalization program ay dapat pabilisin at pagaanin ang transaksyon ng ating mga kababayan, hindi maging pabigat,” she added.

Poe said the LTO should get to the bottom of its longstanding problems and get it back on track to fulfill its mandate of delivering fast and efficient public service.