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THE LAND TRANSPORTATION OFFICE (LTO) said it will start issuing license plates by March next year following a government bidding process.

It said the winning bidder Trojan Computer Forms Manufacturing Corporation and J.H. Tonnjes E.A.S.T. GmbH & Co. KG Joint Venture will provide the performance security with the initial delivery of license plates. 

LTO has issued a notice of award to the winning bidder in the procurement of license plates worth P978.8 million on December 1. “The LTO assures the public that the agency is doing the best it can, in compliance with existing laws and regulations, to deliver the license plates,” said LTO chief and Department of Transportation Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante.

The delay in the issuance of license plates was caused by the temporary restraining order of the Supreme Court (SC) in June 2016 preventing the LTO and then Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) from distributing 700,000 license plates turned over by the Bureau of Customs after the plates’ supplier-importer failed to pay the required customs duties.

The 2013 procurement of motor vehicle (MV)/ motorcycle (MC) plates, which covers the supply of license plates from ‎2014-2018, was questioned before the courts and the Commission on Audit which remains pending to date. Galvante requested for additional funds to be included in the LTO’s 2017 budget in the amount of P400 million in order to proceed with the procurement of license plates.

Secretary Arthur Tugade, of the Department of Transportation, approved the request and allocated P1 billion from the department’s budget for LTO’s procurement of license plates in November last year. (Aerol John Pateña)

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