Questions on the allocation of collected license plate fees were raised after the Land Transportation Office appealed for additional funds to address their backlog issues.
The LTO said in a briefing that it needed at least P6.8 billion additional budget to produce the backlog of unprinted license plates, particularly for motorcycles.
“Malaki po ang backlog natin sa plaka. I think we need about P6.8 billion to address all of these backlog, yung four-wheel at saka yung motorcycle. Lalo na sa motorcycle, malaki-laki talaga, So we need funding and only Congress can provide us with funding,” LTO officer-in-charge Romeo Vera Cruz was quoted in a report as saying.
This request for additional funding was met with scrutiny on social media.
Filipino online users asked the LTO where the fees collected from them were spent.
“Uy, kasama na kaya yan sa binayaran namin. San napunta yung pera?” one Twitter user asked.
“Nasaan na ang binayaran namin?” a Facebook user asked.
Others questioned the LTO’s need for the additional funds when vehicle owners had already paid for their license plates to be printed.
“This has already been paid by people who applied for a license,” one Facebook user said.
“Dapat investigate ang corruption sa LTO. Bayad na mga yan pero naging backlog. Anyari bakit billion na,” another user commented.
Some Filipinos also called for an overhaul of the organization to eliminate corruption.
“Dapat [diyan] total revamp ng mga tao sa LTO magmula sa pinakamataas na namumuno hanggang sa pinakamababa. Palitan lahat ng mga tauhan jan sa LTO,” a Filipino suggested.
So far, the LTO has finished producing seven million plates out of the 18 to 19 million pending to be printed.
‘LTO has robots, machines’
One user, meanwhile, pointed out that LTO has its own plate-making facility to supposedly address its prevailing problem on license plate production.
“Make it make sense mga beh at LTO. Saan napunta yung pre-payment?? And you have your own machines already, so your only problem should be procurement of raw materials for the plates…di ba?” the user tweeted.
The user also attached an old infographic of the Department of Transportation that featured this machine called the “IDeROBOT” or the automated embossing machine.
DOTr posted this infographic on July 31, 2019 on its social media pages.
“REPUBLIKANG WALANG PLAKA NO MORE!” the post reads.
“From a backlog of 8 million plates from 2013 to mid-2016, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is now looking at closing this longstanding issue in the road sector by 2020,” it added.
REPUBLIKANG WALANG PLAKA NO MORE!
From a backlog of 8 million plates from 2013 to mid-2016, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is now looking at closing this longstanding issue in the road sector by 2020.#DOTrPH 🇵🇭#DuterteLegacy pic.twitter.com/jXzBuc0hCZ
— DOTrPH 🇵🇭 (@DOTrPH) July 31, 2019
LTO is still using this equipment in its operations.
ABS-CBN reporter Jacque Manabat shared on July 15 footage that showed how the machinery produces 6,000 motorcycle plates per day.
In her report, it was stated that the whole facility can produce between 20,000 and 25,000 plates a day.
Here’s how motorcycle plates are produced by one of LTO’s automated plate-making machines. It could make 6k pcs of motorcycle plates/ day.
The whole plate-making facility could produce 20-25k/day.
However, motorcyle plates backlog piled up at 11,508,063 as of July 7. pic.twitter.com/bkeh6V9lW3
— Jacque Manabat (@jacquemanabat) July 15, 2022
Not enough, says LTO
During the briefing, Cruz also said that the LTO is operating two robots—one for motorcycle plates and the other for four-wheeled vehicles.
“We have two robots, one robot for motorcycle plates and one for four-wheel motor vehicles in addition to the nine or 10 manual embossing machines. Kaya kayang-kaya natin ‘yang backlog kapag meron lang pondo po,” he was quoted in a report as saying.
In a press conference last June, LTO chief Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante said that the agency planned to outsource some of the license plate-making because its own plant cannot handle all the work.