We saved the most difficult questions for last. In this third and last part of our video interview series, Land Transportation Office assistant secretary Alfonso Tan Jr. answers questions about corruption, the culture of having fixers, and all the hate the agency is receiving.
"I will not mince words," said the LTO chief. "I'm sure there's still corruption within the agency. [But] I'm confident enough to say that LTO--at this point--is in a much better position to combat corruption."
Despite admitting this, Tan believes that disinformation is destroying the image of the agency, thus causing people to loathe the agency. "The biggest example is what's happening right now, when we implemented a 'no registration, no travel' policy," he explained. "Our laws are clear: If your vehicle is not registered, it's not supposed to be used on the road. Why? Because there are legal implications."
The LTO boss went on to single out TopGear.com.ph as being responsible for the public's negative perception of the agency:
"I was looking at your website in particular. And your editor-in-chief's qualifications say he's been writing about cars for 20 years, and the publication is supposed to be about cars. But what's the first thing every responsible car owner should do? It's to make sure the papers for his vehicles are in order. The website does not contain any information about putting your papers in order and registering your vehicle properly. It has questioned why LTO has done certain things...It is not correct to say that just because you have saved so much and spent so much to buy a vehicle, you can just drive it on the road."
For the record, TopGear.com.ph has never advised new-car owners to forgo vehicle registration and disobey the law. Car dealerships usually take care of the registration of brand-new vehicles. If there are things our website has questioned about the LTO, it is the agency's incompetence in issuing license plates and license cards, and the funny system of emission testing in the country.
In the video interview below, Tan answered the following questions from our readers:
* How rampant is the corruption inside your well-respected office? - Jendrix Roque
* What do you think is causing all this hatred toward your office? - Matt Labra
* How do you handle all the negative complaints from all motorists? - Patrick Andrei V. Tolentino
* During President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's term, the LTO was the most progressive of all government agencies. When President Noynoy Aquino came in, it has now been the most loathed. Please tell us why. - Dave Deluria
* How do you plan on eliminating fixers? - Cristopher Dagondon
* DFA, NBI and SSS have satellite offices in malls. Will it be possible for the LTO to have mall offices to eradicate fixers and close down corrupt LTO branches? Since every city nationwide has malls like SM and Robinsons. Please, pretty please! - Maricha Lawas
* What can we do as citizens to expedite the release of license plates? Enough of blaming the LTO. Instead, let us offer solutions. - Manuel Teoxon
Tan discussed the agency's rigid IT system and how the LTO has improved its processes. "I do not do Band-Aid solutions; we do reforms from the bottom up," he said. "There are practices and cultures that we have to go against and change."
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