Senator Ejercito bats for online vehicle registration

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Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito has filed a resolution urging the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to conduct a study on the establishment and implementation of an online vehicle registration, to speed up public service and curb corruption at the agency.

LTO, an agency under the Department of Transportation (DOT), is tasked with registering motor vehicles, issuing driver’s license and motor vehicle license plates, and collecting fines and penalties for motor vehicle violations.

In the 2016 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey on Enterprises on Corruption, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and LTO received the most unfavorable ratings, according to the senator.

The SWS survey showed that LTO received a -47 net sincerity rating in fighting corruption, the only government agency with a bad rating.


In his resolution, Ejercito said the LTO “has been surrounded by allegations of corruptions, irregularities and modus operandi in performing its mandate of registering motor vehicles and issuance of driver’s licenses.”

Based on the guidelines of the LTO Citizen’s Charter, the time an applicant should spend in the renewal of motor vehicles should only be 60 minutes, but Ejercito’s resolution said, “in reality, the public spend an average of two to four days to register a motor vehicle due to inefficiency and inadequacy of LTO employees and facilities.”

Ejercito said the upgrade in motor vehicle registration system is included in LTO’s proposed plans and programs for 2017.

“The establishment and implementation of an online facility for the registration of motor vehicle will promote transparency in LTO with regard to its manner of transacting with the public and will simplify the registration procedure thereby reducing red tape and expedite transactions with the agency,” according to Ejercito’s resolution.

MANUAL REGISTRATION WASTE OF TIME
Earlier, a transparency group said that Filipino motorists are losing billions in potential income and precious time because of the manual registration of the LTO.

Jo Perez, spokesperson of the Filipino Alliance for Transparency and Empowerment (FATE), said vehicle owners spend not just money but their time, as they have to take time off from their work, just to register vehicles at the LTO. This is aside from the long lines and alleged corruption at the agency.

Perez said if registration is made online, it not only speeds up the process, but government can increase and generate more collections as those in far areas or are too busy, can simply do their registration online.

He said that this would mean that more vehicle owners will register, thus an increase in LTO’s revenue.

From January to June 2016, the LTO dispensed a total of 3.001 million licenses and permits, up 4.23 percent from 2.880 million in the same semester in 2015.

The LTO also registered 5.037 million motor vehicles from January to June this year, up 5.0 percent from 4.8 million in the same six-month period in 2015.

House Deputy Majority Leader and Rep. Gerald Anthony Gullas of Cebu earlier said the LTO should adopt the appropriate information technology to expedite the delivery of services, as President Rodrigo Duterte himself instructed since day one in office.

Aside from FATE, Gullas is also pushing for the online renewal of driver’s licenses and motor vehicle registrations by the middle of President Duterte’s six-year term.

“We are counting on the LTO to live up to the President’s wish, which is actually everybody’s wish, for all agencies to avoid unnecessarily aggravating the transacting public and to expedite the delivery of services,” Gullas said.

He noted the LTO has been “left far behind” in using technology that would allow drivers and car owners to perform transactions online.

In other countries, Gullas said, car owners can renew their driver’s license and their motor vehicle registration electronically, as well as pay fees and traffic fines using their credit or debit card.

Gullas speculated that the LTO, as well as other government agencies, have resisted the use of technology in its operations as it would mean less opportunities for corrupt employees.

President Duterte himself said corrupt practices continue in several government agencies, including the LTO.

“Right now, some 53 percent of licenses and permits processed by the LTO every year are actually renewals, while some 80 percent of car registrations handled are also renewals,” Gullas said.

Perez, meanwhile, stressed that their anti-corruption campaign is the reason why they are pushing for the implementation of an online registration for all types of motor vehicles at the LTO.

FATE has conducted a research together with United Filipino Consumers and Commuters and BadAss Elite Pilipinas on the matter.

FATE added that in addition to the corrupt practices, the Filipino people is also losing P4 billion a year as they need to be absent from their work just to be able to go to the LTO and register their vehicles.

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