Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano castigated Land Transportation Office (LTO) officials anew over their refusal to suspend the license plate standardization program despite a notice of disallowance that was already issued by the Commission on Audit (COA).
“The sole mandate of this government is to serve the people, not the other way around. If public officials in agencies like the LTO or the DOTC fall short of fulfilling this task, or worse, if they repeatedly burden the public with their inefficiencies, then I see no other immediate solution but to fire and replace them,” Cayetano said.
COA recently disallowed P477,901,329 in procurement transaction between the LTO and the Dutch-Filipino consortium PPI-JKG Philippines Inc., saying the agency’s procurement process violated the procedures in accordance with Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
Despite this, LTO spokesman Jason Salvador said the agency will still push through with the program as there is no “explicit” instruction from COA to stop it.
Cayetano, however, said until and unless allegations of overcharging and irregularities involving the issuance of new license plates are clarified, collection of fees from vehicle owners should be put on hold.
The senator continued to protest the additional P50 being charged to motorists for registration stickers.
He said the P450 fee is supposed to include license plates, plate screws and registration stickers, but pointed out that motorists are being forced to pay for something already covered by the bidding.
In light of these controversies, Cayetano says he plans to pass an “anti-hassle bill” in Congress that will make government officials accountable for any inefficiencies in public service.
“Kapag na peperwisyo ang tao, ang mga opisyal at mga contractor ng gobyerno ang dapat managot at maparusahan. Hindi ang tao,” Cayetano said.
“This is the only way by which we can give the public the proper services they deserve. Let us set the bar for public service by appointing more efficient and competent officials who will take the lead in creating great changes in our system of government,” he added./Office of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano