THE Land Transportation Office (LTO) will not suspend the implementation of its controversial Motor Vehicle License Plates Standardization Program (MVLPSP) despite the findings of the Commission on Audit (COA) that the P3.8 billion license plates contract was illegal.
Jason Salvador, spokesperson of the LTO, said in a radio interview that unless stopped by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), the license plates standardization program will continue.
Salvador’s statement means that motorists will have to pay P450 (for motor vehicles) and P120 (for motorcycles) even if the legality of the multibillion-peso supply contract entered into by the DOTC with joint venture Knieriem BV Goes and Power Plates Development Concept Inc. (JKG-PPI) is in question.
Senate president Ralph Recto and the Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP) believe that the LTO should stop its MVLPSP until COA issues its final decision regarding the legality of the contract.
But Salvador said the Supreme Court already issued a ruling dismissing the petition against the MVLPSP.
He claimed that the ruling of the High Tribunal already addressed the issues raised by the COA in its notice of disallowance.
The COA, in disallowing the disbursement amounting to P477.9 million which represents the initial payment to KJG-PPI, cited eight violations committed by the DOTC in relation with the license plates procurement process, one of which is the non-availability of funds.
Meanwhile, a big transport group urged President Benigno Aquino 3rd to file plunder charges against Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and other DOTC and LTO officials for their supposed involvement in the license plates deal.
In an interview with The Manila Times, George San Mateo, national president of the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper Operators Nationwide (PISTON), said all officials involved in the deal should be charged to prove that Aquino’s “Daang Matuwid” (straight path) policy spares no one.
San Mateo said the COA findings gave credence to their assertions that the license plates project was anomalous.