TO KICK off a new decade, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) held an Ulat sa Bayan to share its decade-long accomplishments.

DOTC Regional Director Federico Mandapat Jr. said there are a total of 540,522 motor vehicles registered in the region.

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The registration increased by 41.77 percent since 2001 with only 49,648 registered MVs.

Mandapat said registration declined from 2003, 2004 and 2006 due to computerization, the Land Transportation office prohibition on the acceptance of new registration and the renewal registration of vehicles with previously computerized transactions by non-computerized district offices.

As per DOTC report, there are currently 22,166 drivers’ licenses in the region as opposed to 2001 figure of 45,594 which is equal to a 12.34 percent decline.

Mandapat said the decline is caused by strict licensing procedures in the region.

“We are very strict, we look into the licenses and we assure that there is no room for fixers,” Mandapat said.

In terms of apprehension, DOTC-CAR apprehended a total of 103,915 motor vehicle drivers and operators since 2001 with an average of 12,989 apprehensions per year.

Mandapat said the apprehension data is an evidence of the efforts of the DOTC personnel.

However, he admitted there were decline of apprehension during the years 2003, 2008 and 2009 because DOTC only had six Land Transportation Office (LTO) officers.

Mandapat said DOTC cannot hire or fill in vacant positions because of the rationalization plan which will dissolve the DOTC regional office and instead designate separate directors for LTO and Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board.

Mandapat said LTO district offices are now more efficient and faster as all are computerized except for the LTO extension office in Apayao.

With regards to International Organization for Standardization certification of licensing offices, DOTC has acquired certification for the Baguio field office while field offices in Bangued, Abra, Tabuk, Kalinga are expected to be certified by April 2010.

LTO district offices in Mt. Province, Apayao and Ifugao are expected to be certified by September this year.

Mandapat also said the LTO Baguio will transfer to Pacdal. He said one of the major projects of DOTC this year is the construction of a Motor Vehicle Inspection Center which has a budget of P105 million. (Visha Calventas)