AFTER suffering delays for almost a year, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) on Wednesday said that it already addressed the backlog on the release of license plates for brand new vehicles and that car owners could expect the immediate release of their plates less than a month after vehicle purchase.
Alfonso Tan, LTO executive director in an interview said that as that those brand new four-wheeled vehicles registered last August should have licensed plates released already.
Tan said the LTO head office already issued an advisory stating early this month stating that license plates for private vehicles registered since August 31, 2013 have already been distributed to district office nationwide.
“The LTO doesn’t have problem with the supply of license plates anymore so vehicle owners will not have to wait for month for them to have their plates,” Tan said in an interview after the senate committee hearing on the LTO’s 2014 proposed budget.
The delay on the issuance of vehicles plates started last year mainly because of the failure of the chosen private contractors to deliver the plates on time and the delivery of defective plates.
“The backlog was a result of series of failures of suppliers to comply, in 2011 there was a problem about incomplete deliveries then on 2012 there were defective plates,” he explained.
The LTO officials however noted that the agency already sanctioned the suppliers and even blacklisted one of them.
The recurring vehicle plate and registration sticker backlog even caught the attention of Senate president pro-tempore Ralph Recto, who even filed a resolution calling for a senate inquiry on the issue.
Recto, in a resolution filed last July has expressed concern over the delays that are causing inconvenience to vehicle owners who are unnecessarily apprehended for driving without license plates.
To address the delay on plate and sticker production, Tan said the LTO has availed the services of additional suppliers to be able to ensure the steady supply of vehicle tags.
But a source from the LTO disclosed that not all district offices of the agency were able to address the backlog problem in fact there are some areas in Mindanao that are still experiencing heavy delays.
In Zamboaga City alone there are at least 17,000 vehicles as of August still have no plates. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA