THE Court of Appeals (CA) has granted the petition filed by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) assailing a lower court's ruling that halted the agency's procurement of P336 million worth of driver's license card.

In a ruling dated January 15, the appellate court junked the writ of preliminary injunction issued by the Manila Regional Trial Court branch 49 that stopped the LTO from proceeding with its contract with the Allcard Plastic Philippines.

In a decision penned by Associate Justice Renato Francisco, the CA nullified the October 15, 2015 order of Judge Daniel Villanueva of Manila RTC Branch 49 for lack of jurisdiction.

The CA said that it is clearly stated in the Republic Act 8975 that no court can issue a writ of preliminary injunction to stop the bidding of any governmental project, except for the Supreme Court.

"RA 8975 does not grant all courts any authority to issue a writ of preliminary injuction to restrain or prohibit the government from: a) Bidding or awarding of a contract or project of the national government b) Commencing, prosecuting, executing, implementing or operating such contract and project c) Undertaking or authorizing any other lawful activity necessary for such contract or project," the CA's resolution said.

The case against the LTO stemmed from the complaints filed by lawyer Randy Bareng.

Bareng, who earlier questioned the legality of the project in court, said that Allcard Plastic Philippines is not qualified to be one of the bidders and that the project evaded scrutiny from the Department of Budget and Management.

The release of the license cards was supposed to address the shortage that started in 2013 when the Commission on Audit disallowed payments to the previous supplier, Amalgamated Motors Philippines. (SunStar Philippines)