The Department of Transportation said it plans to pursue the P3.6-billion contract with car plate suppliers that awarded during the Aquino administration.
“It’s being evaluated definitely. That’s being carefully studied,” Transportation Undersecretary for road Thomas Orbos said, referring to the deal with Power Plates Development Concepts Inc. and J. Knieriem BV-Power Plates under the Motor Vehicle License Plate Standardization Program.
Under the original contract, PPI-JKG was required to supply 15 million new plates within a five-year period. Of the 15 million plates, only four million were distributed, resulting in a backlog of 11 million.
The Commission on Audit on July 13, 2015 issued a notice of disallowance against the P477.9-million advance payment made by the Land Transportation Office to PPI-JKG for alleged irregularities in the allocation of the agency’s budget.
The Supreme Court also stopped the DOTr and LTO from distributing 700,000 pairs of license plates turned over the by Bureau of Customs to LTO after former Abakada Party-list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz and incumbent Parañaque City 2nd District Rep. Gustavo Tambunting questioned the implementation of the deal in light of the CoA order.
The shipment of plates was stalled for a year at the Manila Port after PPI-JKG failed to pay P40 million worth of taxes and customs duties.
The Supreme Court on Jan. 23, 2018 declared as constitutional the funding for the MVPSP, paving the way for the release to motorists of 700,000 license plates turned over by the BoC to the LTO.
The court ruled that the 2014 GAA included an appropriation for the program and the use of the appropriation was constitutional.
The CoA also lifted the notice of disallowance against the LTO license plate standardization program.
Romeo Vera Cruz, executive director of LTO, said with the lifting of CoA’s notice and the TRO from Supreme Court, the agency could resume the execution of the contract of PPI-JKG.
“We have some discussions regarding to the amendments of the contract of the previous supplier. This will be finalized by next week, subject to the approval of the DOTr,” Vera Cruz said.
“Since we already have the plate making plant, we only need blank plates and the price difference will be the delivery for the RFID stickers. However, this is still being computed and discussed,” he said.
Vera Cruz said the resumption of PPI-JKG’s contract will address the backlog from 2013 to 2018 and beyond.
The total backlog of plates for motor vehicles from July 2016 to March 2018 reached 3.8 million, excluding 5.2 million for motorcycles.
LTO inaugurated the Plate Making Plant on April 24, 2018, which is part of the P978.8-million contract awarded to Trojan Computer Forms Manufacturing Corp. and JH Tonnjes E.A.S.T. GmbH Joint Venture for the procurement of 775,00 pairs of motor vehicle plates and 1.7 million pieces of motorcycle plates to address the plate requirements from July 1, 2016 to Dec. 31, 2017.