Eight regional directors and 53 employees of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) were forced to leave their posts after they were found to have allegedly been involved in corruption.
LTFRB board member Aileen Lizarda told a television program on Tuesday that four regional directors have resigned, two have retired and one was suspended after a board internal audit showed that they have engaged in corruption.
The eighth director is being investigated, Lizarda said.
Aside from the eight regional directors, 53 employees from different branches of the LTFRB were forced to resign or retire or were suspended also for alleged involvement in corrupt activities, she added.
In the same TV program, Lizarda said the LTFRB leadership has discovered the supposed pattern of corruption in the agency.
She, however, did not accuse the previous leadership of inaction on the corruption in the LTFRB.
She disclosed that the corrupt officials raked in money from approval of franchises for public utility vehicles (bus, jeepney or taxi) using fake documents.
President Rodrigo Duterte on several occasions said the LTFRB is one of the most corrupt agencies in the government.
The others, according to the President, are the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
According to Lizarda, bus operators pay from P300,000 to P500,000 for fake franchises, UV vehicles operators pay P200,000, and taxi operators have to shell out P60,000 in order to get franchises to operate.
The corrupt LTFRB directors and employees have their “fixers” to do the illegal transactions for them.
Lizarda said the “fixers” have contacts with the vehicle operators.
“The fixer that the regional director brings connects with the operators outside, those who are willing to pay and cough up huge amounts,” she explained.
“Technically, they [fake franchises]are all colorum because they were issued without any authority but we’re talking of hundreds and thousands nationwide,” she pointed out.
Lizarda admitted that even the LTFRB in Davao City, Duterte’s turf in southern Mindanao, is not exempted from the illegal franchise scam.