DIRTY TACTICS

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A news report released this week says that the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has yet to award the P8.3-billion information technology project for the Land Transportation Office (LTO) pending the evaluation of three bidders.

That should put a stop to Digitext Asia from fomenting outright lies to the public that it has been awarded with the contract in its apparent bid to hide its gross absence of competency and an obvious lack of proven track-records to automate the LTO registration and licensing system.

That should also silence some quarters who have been insisting that Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya declares a failure of bidding due to alleged irregularities surrounding the bidding process and allegedly committed by members of the DOTC bids and awards committee.

Instead, the news report should convince the administration’s critics and naysayers that no amount of dirty tactics could once again delay the project by forcing a failure of bid-ding because there are contractors who are more than ready and capable enough to assume the project.

As it is today, the current LTO IT system provided by Stradcom Corporation has been running for more than 12 years now and said to be less responsive to the current land transportation regulation requirements.

As it is today, our 266 LTO offices across the country could hardly meet up the daily demands and expectations of our motorists and drivers, not to mention the frustrations of our drivers who are renewing the licenses or having their vehicles registered.

A month from now, the Aquino administration will have to turn over to the best hands of the most qualified technology service provider who can render the state-of-the-art land transportation infrastructure technology solution for the complex needs of LTO.

We share Secretary Abaya’s firm resolve to set in place a new system solution for LTO that, as he pointed out, would make it easier to recover stolen vehicles, trace smuggled vehicles, prevent double registration and monitor unregistered vehicles.

We have no doubts that Secretary Abaya will steer clear this very important project vital, not only to plug the loopholes in the LTO’s revenue collection system, but also, most importantly, improve vehicle registration and drivers’ licensing system at par with global standards.

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