COA flags DOTr for ₱2.1-B undelivered license plates

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 12) — The Commission on Audit has called out the Department of Transportation in its latest report stating that over ₱2.1 billion worth of license plates from 2014 to 2020 remain undelivered.

"Various circumstances caused delays in the procurement of plates, thus resulted in the undelivered license plates of the registrants nationwide from CY 2014 to CY 2022 amounting to ₱2,159,036,340.00 corresponding to 8,120,837 pieces of MC and 2,632,302 pairs of replacement of MV license plates," COA said in its 2020 audit report.

The commission further stated that because of the delay in delivery, motorists were indicative of "lapses in the performance by the LTO (Land Transportation Office) management of one of its mandates, thus, depriving the registrants of their right to retrieve the plates they have paid for and affecting the efficient apprehension of the traffic violators."

The COA's recommendation was meant for the agency to fast track the production and distribution of the plates.

In a statement on Saturday, the DOTr said, "We are doing everything to resolve the backlog by producing and distributing the remaining plates to their owners."

It also assured the public that steps are being taken to prevent a backlog.

Earlier, the LTO said it was seeking outside help to produce plates because of the huge backlog.

LTO Chief Edgar Galvante told CNN Philippines in June the agency would need to produce 18 million plates.

However, with the limited capacity of its plant, he said meeting the backlog would take "many, many months."

In a separate briefing also in June, Galvante expressed hope the government could inject it with ₱2.5 billion to finance the production of 18 million motorcycle plates by June 2022.

In February, Senator Richard Gordon called on LTO officials to resign over their failure to release more than 13 million motorcycle plates since 2013.

In a Senate hearing, Gordon said the LTO was "incompetent," had no compassion and was negligent.

He added that the lack of plates made it difficult to track down suspects who used motorcycles in their illegal activities.

The DOTr has not yet issued a statement on the COA report.