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7 LTO execs face graft raps

Seven top officials of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) are facing graft and administrative charges before the Office of the Ombudsman for alleged anomalous procurement of driver’s license cards worth P187 million.

The complaint was filed yesterday by the Anti-Trapo Movement of the Philippines (ATM) and identified the respondents as LTO chief Edgar Galvante and bids and award committee (BAC) members, namely; Romeo Vera Cruz, Mercy Jane Paras-Leynes, Rector Ortiga, Maribel Salazar, Irenea Nueva, and Francis Roy Almora.

ATM President Leon Peralta based the complaints on newspaper reports which they were able to validate later as accurate.

The complaint stated that the respondents gave the contract to Allcard Plastic Philippines through direct contracting without the benefit of a public bidding as required under the Government Procurement Reform Act.

It said the LTO bought the license cards for P62.30 per unit, or a total cost of P187 million for three million pieces of cards.

ATM said there are many other suppliers who are willing to produce the license cards with the same quality but at much lower cost of only P30 per piece.

“Obviously, plastic cards are not proprietary and can be supplied by other card manufacturers, at a much lower cost,” Peralta said.

He said “LTO-BAC had allegedly issued several resolutions with the end view of making the final award to Allcard through direct contracting albeit illegally.” (JUN RAMIREZ)