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Purchase of cellphones, tablets reasonable – LTO


The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has refuted claims against its procurement of communication devices amounting to P3.9 million.

In a statement issued Friday, LTO argued that the P3.9 million worth of communication devices spanned for three years, starting 2015 until last year.

It noted 41 cellular phones and 22 tablets were bought by the LTO-National Capital Region (NCR) in 2015 while six cellular phones were purchased in 2016. Eleven more cellphones were bought in 2017, LTO added.

All the communication devices were assigned to LTO officials.

“The procurement is necessary in the efficient dispensation of the LTO’s functions by allowing for better and more dependable modes of communication and coordination, such as teleconferencing and other internet-operated applications such as Viber and emails, which are otherwise inaccessible to older models of communication devices,” it said.

“Further, the LTO-NCR clarifies that it has not issued any prepaid load to officers and personnel in the last two years. Communications expenses are being charged against the personal funds of the employees,” the LTO added.

The agency said the amount totalling P660,769.92, allotted for 26 post-paid cellular phones, questioned under Region IV-A operations was “reasonable … considering the bulk of transactions” in the region.

“The LTO wishes to underscore that there was no Commission on Audit (CoA) disallowance issued on the procurement of these cellular phones and tablets,” it added.

“At present, the LTO has already substantially complied with the CoA’s recommendations in the Audit Observation Memorandum regarding the distribution of communications equipment and cellular load,” LTO said.

Earlier, a CoA report tagged the purchase of mobile phones and tablets as “expensive.”

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Today’s Front Page January 24, 2020

Today’s Front Page January 24, 2020