LTO: We can’t spend daily collections to purchase plastic ID cards
MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Office (LTO) said it was not authorized to use its collections from its daily operations to address the shortage in the supply of driver’s licenses and license plates.
“The LTO is not authorized to retain funds collected or received from day-to-day operations. All funds collected are remitted the following day,” LTO Finance Division Chief Marivic Lopez said in a statement on Saturday.
Lopez explained that LTO remits its collections to the Bureau of the Treasury daily while LTO’s budget for its operations and for the purchase of raw materials comes from the yearly allocation of Congress under the General Appropriations Act.
The LTO official was reacting to House deputy speaker Rep. Ralph Recto’s claim that it would only take the LTO less than four days to raise the needed funds to buy the plastic ID cards needed for driver’s licenses from its daily collections.
Recto said the impending shortage was not due to the lack of funds but a “lack of smarts and foresight” in buying the plastic ID cards.
“Not all procurement debacles stem from lack of money. Some are caused by inefficiency by agencies rich in resources but poor in foresight,” Recto said, adding that the LTO could easily collect the P249 million needed to procure the plastic ID cards for the licenses.
However, the LTO reiterated that the supply shortage was due to the delay in the procurement of raw materials needed for the license cards and plates, and not due to lack of funds.
LTO chief Jose Arturo Tugade blamed the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) special order issued in January, which indicated that all procurement activities involving P50 million and above must be administered by the DOTr central office.
The move was intended to avoid controversial deals entered into by the LTO previously, including the P3.8-billion contract for the supply of 15 million license plates that the Senate investigated in 2021 for alleged anomalies.