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EDITORIAL - Longer wait ahead.

The wait for vehicle license plates has been so interminable that cardboard substitutes showing the conduction sticker, issued by car dealers in lieu of plates, are starting to fall apart. Seeing no progress in the near future, motorists are forking out a few hundred to a thousand pesos for more durable substitute plates.

This expense is on top of the amount paid by vehicle owners upon registration of a new car. Where has the money gone? Without the purchased product, no payment must be made, and those who have paid deserve a refund.

The same goes for driver's license cards, whose distribution could be further delayed by court cases filed to stop a procurement deal signed by the Land Transportation Office for over eight million plastic driver's license cards with five-year validity. The deal has been brought before the Supreme Court, where it could sit forgotten or be held back by a temporary restraining order that could be in effect until the end of the Duterte administration.

With fanfare, the government had announced last August the rollout of driver's license cards with five-year validity. The distribution, however, has slowed down.

With the procurement deal amounting to P836 million, the court cases have given rise to suspicions that losing suppliers are instigating the complaints. The biggest losers are the drivers who paid for plastic license cards and instead received pieces of paper.

The LTO must quickly explain if it believes it has done nothing wrong why the deal is aboveboard and the complaints deserve to be tossed out. For its part, the Supreme Court must not allow this case to languish like many other complaints handled by the tribunal.

The failure to produce vehicle license plates and driver's license cards contributed to public perceptions of paralysis in the previous administration. The current one must avoid suffering the same problem.

Motorists and drivers have waited long enough.

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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Nov 24, 2017
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