After a series of hearings conducted at the Senate, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) finally heeded to the calls of Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano and the public to suspend its ‘No Plate, No Travel’ policy.
“Ako’y natutuwa na nagka-solution… that LTO met with car dealers, and tried to solve the existing problems,” Cayetano said in an interview on the sidelines of the Senate Committee on Public Services and Blue Ribbon Subcommittee’s joint investigation on the alleged irregularities in the agency’s license plate program.
“Pero kung kinonsulta siguro muna nila ang mga tao bago ipatupad ang polisiya, hindi na sana nangyari itong napakalaking problema,” he added.
Admitting to the agency’s problems as cited by Cayetano, and acknowledging the inconvenience it had brought to the public, LTO officials finally agreed to the senator’s proposal to defer the implementation of its policy.
Cayetano said he welcomes LTO’s decision, but asserted that he will continue monitoring updates on the issue.
“While we commend LTO’s suspension of its ‘No Plate, No Travel’ policy, it does not end here. We know that the DOTC, among other agencies in government, are still riddled with several problems that cause burden to the people. That is why we will continue to guard the public against any government inefficiency,” Cayetano said.
The senator earlier blasted the LTO for imposing unjust penalties to car owners and drivers under its ‘No Plate, No Travel’ policy, while noting that it was in fact the agency’s fault that there had been a delay in the issuance of plates for new vehicles.
He also cited LTO’s failure to clarify the guidelines of its regulation to law enforcers on the ground, which he feared could have caused confusion and possible abuse of the public.
Cayetano said LTO enforcers should not have penalized car owners who travel without the necessary license plates, provided they have shown proof of registration.
He said no fine should be imposed if the motorist can present an official receipt, since the LTO failed to issue the license plate, considering the current shortage.
“The public should not in any way be burdened by what is clearly a product of the LTO’s and the plate contractor’s failure to deliver and process plates on new vehicles,” he said.
“Vehicle owners who have registered their vehicles promptly should not have been barred from using their vehicles nor penalized for government’s inefficiency,” he added. #