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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Will tweaks save Central Visayas LTFRB, LTO chiefs?

BOTH directors of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Central Visayas Region are hopeful that steps they’ve taken to stop corruption will keep them in their posts.

President Rodrigo Duterte said during a press conference yesterday that presidential appointees must consider themselves resigned effective immediately.

“I still hear about corruption being committed by people, especially in the regulatory agencies,” President Duterte said. He specifically cited LTO and LTFRB.

But LTFRB-Central Visayas Director Ahmed Cuizon and LTO-Central Visayas Acting Director Alita Pulga said they are doing their best in their agencies. Both are presidential appointees.

Cuizon said that since he assumed the post of LTFRB-Central Visayas director some five months ago, he has not issued a single new franchise for public utility vehicles (PUVs) covered by the moratorium.

“Our office has likewise intensified our campaign against colorum (unauthorized) and other violations like out-of-line operations,” Cuizon said.

He pointed out that procedures that used to take, say, five to six steps have been cut down to three steps.

“For transactions like franchise renewal, we now strictly require the operators themselves to personally file their applications. If they are unable to do so, only their immediate family members or legal counsel may represent them,” Cuizon said.

He said that in line with national directives, the agency has also put a stop to the sale and transfer of all franchises.

“Lastly, we are tightly monitoring the individual performance of our personnel to ensure that they comply with office rules and regulations on punctuality and efficiency,” Cuizon said.

“Public funds should not be spent for the salaries of erring employees. Those who fail our standards are dealt with accordingly,” Cuizon added.

For her part, Pulga said she has assigned security guards to watch the entrance gates to drive away peddlers or fixers of insurance, medical certificates and drug tests.

Pulga said she has met with transport groups, including those of drivers and operators of buses, taxis, jeepneys and trucks, as well as car and motorcycle dealers, emphasizing their campaign against fixers, extra costs and a push for faster delivery of service.

Pulga said she has also directed employees to assist clients in following the steps, pay directly to the cashier, and wait for the release of official receipts, certificates of registration, stickers, licenses, and permits.

“We are scheduling meetings with other stakeholders within the week. We provide flyers for every transaction for clients’ reference and guidance,” Pulga said.

She appealed to applicants not to deal with fixers. “Transact with LTO employees only in the transaction window and pay the exact amount as receipted, and wait for the release of transactions, which have their own processing time to finish,” Pulga added.
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