LTO chief, 6 others sued for graft over P187-M license cards deal
Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Edgar Galvante and six others were accused of graft, among other things, for entering into a P187-million contract for the supply of three million plastic driver’s license cards without a public bidding.
Leon Peralta from the Anti-Trapo Movement filed the complaint on Friday before the Office of the Ombudsman against Galvante and the members of the LTO Bids and Awards Committee – chairman Romeo Vera Cruz and members Mercy Jane Paras-Leynes, Rector Antiga, Maribel Salazar, Irenea Nueva, and Francis Ray Almora.
The group accused the respondents of graft, violations of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials, and violations of the Government Procurement Reform Act for entering into a direct contract with Allcard Plastics Philippines for the much-awaited printing of three million driver’s license cards.
The group said the negotiated procurement favored Allcards and caused undue injury to the government because the LTO entered into a contract with an exclusive dealer without the benefit of a public bidding.
It said that the three million license cards could have been procured from other dealers at a much lower price.
“Obviously, plastic cards are not proprietary and can be supplied by other card manufacturers, at a much lower cost,” the group said.
Spending P187 million for three million cards translates to P62.3 per card, the group pointed out.
“There are providers out there that can supply the card at a mere P30 or even lower,” the group, said, without naming the dealers.
“Fact is, Allcard is not an exclusive dealer or manufacturer of plastic cards! Hence, direct contracting with them finds no basis and is outright illegal,” the group added.
The group cited a newspaper column about the allegedly anomalous contract by Al Vitangcol III, now an anti-corruption crusader who himself stands accused of multiple corruption cases before the Sandiganbayan over anomalous contracts in the Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) and an alleged extortion try when he was its general manager.
The LTO has started the long-awaited distribution of drivers license cards to plug in the three million shortage that started in 2013 when the Commission on Audit disallowed payments to Amalgamated Motor Philippines Inc. for lack of a proper contract. /atm
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