Sunday, August 01, 2021

Nalzaro: ‘Corrupt’ practices at the LTO


IF LAND Transportation Office (LTO) 7 Director Victor Caindec is incorruptible, as what he publicly projects, for refusing a bribe from motorcycle dealers, he should have cleansed his office of corruption. He could have eradicated corruption and changed and transformed the image of the LTO 7 from a graft-ridden agency to an honest and clean agency. But needless to say, reports of corruption in this office continued even under Caindec’s watch.

Unfortunately, he himself has been accused by no less than Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque of engaging in alleged extortion activities. Roque accused Caindec of extorting money from motorcycle dealers. The LTO allegedly delays the registration process of those who do not yield to Caindec’s demand.

Caindec denied the allegation and accused Roque of conniving with the lawyers of the motorcycle dealers whom he said are under investigation for alleged tax fraud. When did Caindec start the investigation and who attempted to bribe him? He could name names to parry Roque’s allegations. But if he has delicadeza, he should resign.

LTO is the government office that regulates persons who operate motor vehicles. Testing and licensing of drivers belongs to LTO’s jurisdiction as well as road policies and safety. The LTO has its law enforcement and traffic adjudication system.

Unfortunately, corruption is still present in the LTO that vehicles, in whatever condition, can be given the right to ply roads—those rolling coffins. Corruption is a governance and social issue. It destroys the trust and confidence of the public in government institutions. Caindec failed to eradicate the proliferation of fixers in his office. Fixers are the ones who approach you and tell you they will fast-track your application for fees higher than the normal rate. These people have insider contacts. Don’t tell me that Caindec is not aware of these. These fixers are giving shares to LTO insiders.

Here are some modus at the LTO office. An employee negotiates with a prospective driver‘s license applicant, assuring him a license without taking the written and practical examinations for a fee. If the applicant will not succumb to their demand, they would fail the applicant either in the written or practical exams. The rate now is reportedly at P10,000. This kind of modus has been there for quite a time.

Another alleged modus of some corrupt LTO employees is to accept bribes during inspection of vehicles during registration. Inspectors allegedly receive money from registrants in exchange for approval even for non-appearance. That is why despite the strict requirements during registration, especially on smoke emission test and at the Motor Vehicle Inspection Service (MVIS) inspection, we can still observe unfit and dilapidated vehicles or “rolling coffins” in the roads. Most of these are cargo truck operators and those traditional public utility jeepneys. If you’re a cargo truck operator and you have a fleet of cargo trucks, would you bring all of them to the MVIS for inspection?

I also heard that the LTO would recommend their favored smoke-emission testing centers and give accreditation to their favored driving schools. What is the reason behind this? Just asking.


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