PROBLEMS continue to hound the IT platform of the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Land Transportation Management System (LTMS), even as the transport agency launched a new system to digitize and centralize its services.

Just recently, an individual was prohibited from renewing his driver's license after a motorcycle violation reflected in his LTMS account.

The motorist, Leonyl Salvador, was surprised because the violation was supposed to have happened in Iloilo in 2018.

Salvador said he does not own a motorcycle and has never been to Iloilo.

Last October, a dilapidated truck plying the roads of Metro Manila was discovered to have a valid LTO registration which should not be the case because of its dubious roadworthiness.

LTO personnel wondered how rundown vehicles can pass the registration process without being detected by the LTMS.

The glitches experienced by the motoring public including a recent report that came out in The Manila Times about two vehicles bearing the same plate numbers were registered in the LTMS, prompting a move at the Senate to review the LTO's contract with German IT firm Dermalog.

The LTMS is part of the P3.19 billion Road IT Infrastructure project that was awarded to the joint venture of Dermalog and its local partners in May 2018.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel 3rd has urged the blue ribbon committee to act on his resolution to look into the alleged "undue payment" given by the LTO to a joint venture in connection with the IT project.

Filed in August last year, Senate Resolution 147 seeks to investigate the LTO's undue payment to the joint venture of Dermalog Identification System, Holy Family Printing Corp., and Microgenesis and Verzontal Builders, citing certain provisions of the law that "issuances are explicit in providing that as a general rule, no payment shall be made for services not yet rendered or for supplies and materials not yet delivered under any contract with the government."

He said that under Clause 10 of the General Conditions of the Contract of the standard Philippine Bidding Documents for Goods, the head of the LTO must certify the system has been duly inspected and accepted before such a payment could be made.

In 2021, the Commission on Audit flagged the LTO for paying Dermalog despite the project turnover not having been completed.

Pimentel also cited various "unresolved issues" that have disrupted the operations of various LTO sites, including the slow processing of documents in getting a driver's license and its renewal, "as well as registration of vehicles, which have been attributed to its new IT system."

Last year, issues plagued LTO's licensing and registration systems, causing a backlog in transactions that lasted for several days.

Dermalog has blamed a "network issue" within the LTO for the slowdown that could have been an act of sabotage.

Despite the unresolved issues, LTO still allowed Dermalog to install the system, which stores and processes data on Philippine citizens applying for a driver's license, car registration and even for paying the fine for violations in one single system.

Dermalog has yet to reply to The Times' request for comment.

According to the LTO, two-thirds of transactions with the agency involve motor vehicle renewals.

2023-03-19T16:58:56Z dg43tfdfdgfd