MANILA (Mabuhay) — Lawmakers are asking the House committee on transportation to investigate the reported anomalies surrounding the Motor Vehicle License Plates Standardization Program of the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
In House Resolution 745, Reps. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City) and Maximo Rodriguez Jr. (Party-list, Abante Mindanao) said the alleged anomalies are causing the delay in the implementation of the program, which seeks to replace existing license plates with new plates that have advanced security features and new alphanumeric design.
There are nine existing license plate designs and this is causing difficulty in identifying counterfeit license plates and adversely affecting law enforcement and national security, according to Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Abaya has confirmed that the department has received two letters from bidders detailing alleged irregularities.
The alleged anomalies include the questionable existence of the ASTM D 4956 8.5 standard, which is supposedly being used by international testing bodies in the evaluation of the quality of reflective surfaces of the plates.
“One of the rival bidders, RNA Holdings Inc., which partnered with Polish firm Utal So. Zoo, questioned the existence of the ASTM D 4956 8.5 standard which is supposedly used by international testing bodies for evaluating the quality of reflective surfaces for traffic control purposes with RNA representatives saying that all bidders certified under oath that they had conducted tests under the supposedly non-existent standard,” Rodriguez said.
Another allegation is that Abaya won’t be able to sign the contract unless the Department of Budget and Management issues a multi-year obligational authority, which is required before the DOTC can enter into a contract that involves a multi-year long project, Rodriguez added.
Rodriguez said these are allegedly among the reasons why the program has yet to be implemented more than ten months after the issuance of Memorandum Circular VPT-2013-1772.
J. Knieriem B.V. Goes (JKG) of the Netherlands and its local partner Power Plates Development Concepts Inc. won the bidding that was participated in by seven other groups.
Rodriguez said there is a need to look into the issue as the longer it takes to implement the program, the more at risk the public is with the prevalence of old, illegible and dilapidated plates.
“The immediate implementation of the Motor Vehicle License Plates Standardization Program will aid law enforcement, improve motor vehicle registration database and enhance the institutional capability of the government,” Rodriguez said. (MNS)