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Top Gear Philippines

LTO sticker

If you're reading this now, chances are you've already gone through the amusing exchange between Senator Ralph Recto and LTO chief Alfonso Tan Jr. during the May 21st Senate hearing on the Land Transportation Office's new license plates, chaired by Senator JV Ejercito. If you haven't, read them here:

* Full transcript of how Sen. Recto grilled LTO chief Alfonso Tan Jr. (Part 1)

* Full transcript of how Sen. Recto grilled LTO chief Alfonso Tan Jr. (Part 2)

Anyway, we continued going through the transcript and came across this interesting part about the sticker that comes with the license plates. Apparently, LTO should no longer be charging us P50 for it, as its cost is supposedly already tucked into the P450 fee we pay for the plates. Read this discussion (in italics) between Recto, Tan, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, and one Edward Fereira, whose company, Marianing and Sons Development, is said to have also placed a bid for the supplier contract of the new license plates.

FEREIRA: Mr. Chair, gusto ko lang pong itanong sana. Doon po sa Invitation to Bid ng DOTC-LTO, nakasama doon na doon po sa P450 na babayaran ng mga vehicle owners, sa P450 po, nakalagay sa Invitation to Bid, kasama na iyong dalawang plaka na bago, kasama na iyong dalawang set ng plate locks at saka kasama na iyong sticker o third plate sticker. Ngayon, tanong ko lang kagaya ni Senator Recto na mayroon na ho siyang sariling plaka, ako rin nagpa-register ng aking plaka, iyong para sa renewal. Ngayon, unang-una, akala ko iyong aking old plate na numero ko at saka letra ay mapapalitan na ng in accordance with the new plate standardization feature. Pero ang naibigay ho sa akin, kung ano iyong luma kong plaka na numero ho, iyon din ang nakuha ko. So, tatlo ang letra tapos ay tatlo rin iyong numero. Ngayon, gusto ko lang pong itanong dahil doon po sa resibo ko, nagbayad po ako ng P450 pero nakita ko sa resibo ko rin na mayroon pong additional na cost ng sticker na P50. So, ibig sabihin po niyon, being a car owner, bakit po ako nagdagdag ng P50 pa sa sticker ay kasama na iyon duon sa P450 na pina-bid nila. Kasi alam ko po ito kasi private bidder ako. Isa ako sa mga private bidders. Kaya alam namin iyong procedure na what actually happened during the bidding process. Alam namin. Kaya nagtataka ako saan po napapunta itong P50 na additional na stickers. Sa eight million po, sa eight million pong car owners, sa P50 po, ilang milyon po iyon. Bakit po ang LTO nangolekta ng additional P50 in addition to the P450 na regular na dapat bayaran. Gusto ko lang pong itanong, Mr. Chairman, kasi ang nalulugi nito tayo pong mga publiko, tayo pong mga owners. At saka saan po napapapunta iyong P50 na binayaran namin o binayaran ko? Sa Treasury po ba, sa ano ba iyan? Kasi may resibo. May resibo na ano. Kung napapunta sa Treasurer, napapunta po sa LTO, hindi ko po alam. Kaya gusto ko lang pong itanong bakit po sila naningil ng additional na P50. Tingnan po ninyo sa lahat ng registration ninyo, mayroong additional na P50 na hindi dapat sila maningil dahil kasama na iyon sa proyekto na P450. Salamat po, Mr. Chairman.


SEN. EJERCITO: Thank you, Mr. Fereira. So, from the LTO, anybody can answer.

ATTY. TAN: Yes, Your Honor. As you know, Your Honor, the fees of LTO are not set by LTO. It’s set in accordance with the program of the government. The LTO cannot just reduce or remove fees. We have, however, previously asked for permission to reduce our fees. Unfortunately, we have not yet gotten any positive response.

SEN. RECTO: Just a follow-up on that. Who authorizes the increase and decrease of fees?

ATTY. TAN: Your Honor, we have--

SEN. RECTO: NEDA ba iyan?

ATTY. TAN: Yes, Your Honor. NEDA, Your Honor.


ATTY. TAN: Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. RECTO: So, you’re telling us right now that that P50, dahil sa NEDA?

ATTY. TAN: That’s the existing fees for the sticker. The P450 is the existing fee for the plate, Your Honor.

SEN. RECTO: For the plate. But the private bidder here, Mr. Fereira, said that in the bid document, the sticker is included in the plate.

FEREIRA: Your Honor, gusto ko lang pong basahin sa Invitation to Bid na nakalagay sa newspaper all over the country. Nagpa-bid ho sila, “The Department of Transportation and Communications and LTO, through the General Appropriations Act, intend to apply the sum of P3,850,600,100 being the approved budget of the contract for ABC. So, ibig pong sabihin noon na iyon pong--

SEN. RECTO: But as pointed out earlier, walang P3.8 billion sa budget nuong 2013 ha.

FEREIRA: Opo. Pero, Your Honor, nakalagay po iyon sa Invitation to Bid nila. Kaya hindi namin alam, kaya kami sumali sa pagbi-bid dahil alam po namin na mayroon talagang budget doon. Hindi naman po namin alam ito. Nakalagay po sa Invitation to Bid, “Bids received in excess of the ABC shall be automatically rejected at the bid opening. Further, the bids for each pair of motor vehicle plate should not exceed P450 inclusive of stickers and plate screws and P150 for each MC plate with stickers and plate screws.” At saka po mayroon pang binigay na specifications kung ano po ang magiging specification ng plaka at saka ng mga turnilyo. So, iyon po ang nakalagay sa bid documents--sa Invitation to Bid pati sa bid documents. Bakit sasabihin po ng NEDA na sila ang may karapatan na magbigay ng pahintulot sa LTO at sa DOTC na mag-increase sila o decrease? Di sana po sinabihan nila kami. At saka hindi po ba ang NEDA, Your Honor--kayo po ang dating director ng NEDA--hindi po ba?


SEN. RECTO: Walang ganitong problema noong secretary ako ng NEDA, ha?

FEREIRA: Oho. Ewan ko ho, ngayon po nagkaroon ng problema.

SEN. RECTO: Teka, teka. Just one last point to Atty. [Jose Perpetuo] Lotilla (chairman of the 2013 Bids and Awards Committee on Plate Project, under the DOTC) or to Atty. Tan.

FEREIRA: Sir, bakit po iyon mayroong additional na P50?

SEN. RECTO: Yes, understood. One last point. Dumaan ba ito sa NEDA? If you’re saying that understanding when I was secretary, all projects P200 million and above were coursed through NEDA to confirm with the Philippine Development Plan because these are all investments made by the government, paid by the public. So, ito ba pinag-aralan ba ng NEDA itong programa ninyo na palitan natin lahat ng plaka at i-charge natin? Fee din iyan.

ATTY. TAN: Yes, Your Honor. We wrote to NEDA whether or not it requires NEDA approval and they wrote back that it does not, Your Honor.

SEN. RECTO: Can you submit those documents to us, to the Committee?

ATTY. TAN: Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. RECTO: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

SEN. CAYETANO: Mr. Chair, just on that point with the permission also of Senator Recto.

SEN. EJERCITO: Senator Cayetano, please.

SEN. CAYETANO: Atty. Tan or Atty. Lotilla, could you affirm to this Committee that there’s a difference between NEDA allowing you to charge certain fees, and there’s a difference that NEDA allowing you to vary your contract as signed, as produced by that bidding? Meaning, ibig sabihin, just because they said you can charge P50, that doesn’t mean na puwedeng i-alter iyong kontrata na kasama iyong sticker sa kontrata. So, now you are charging people P50 rather than charging the contractor. So, the contractor owes us P400 million if it’s eight million people at P50 per sticker and now you owe people P400 million. Kailangan n’yo isauli iyon. Kasi kasama na sa bidding. Kasama na sa administrative cost n’yo na isang daang piso. Did you tell NEDA na you will charge P50 over and above what you have already included in the contract? So, do you mean to say kumita ng P400 million unjustly ang bidder ngayon, in addition to iyong usual niyang kita?

ATTY. TAN: No, Your Honor. The cost for the plates and the stickers before used to...the plates and the stickers used to be procured separately. So, this time--


SEN. CAYETANO: No. We’re not talking about...Attorney, sorry. We’re not talking about what it used to be. The gentleman here just read the Invitation to Bid. Kasama. So, sa P450 mo kasama na iyong P50 na sticker.

ATTY. TAN: Yes po.

SEN. CAYETANO: But ang ginawa n’yo, hiniwalay pa rin n’yo iyong P50. So, may kumita ng P400 million.

ATTY. TAN: No, Your Honor, because we did not procure stickers separately anymore, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO: But kasama na nga po sa kontrata.

ATTY. TAN: Yes, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO: Then the contractor owes you P400 million because they’re supposed to deliver to you also the contract. Then, you cannot pay them because their delivery to you is incomplete.

ATTY. TAN: No, Your Honor. It is part of the contract. It is delivered with the plates. So we give it with the plates, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO: With the P450. It is included in the P450.

ATTY. TAN: As a procurement, yes, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO: Sabi n’yo, P450. Tinanong kayo ni Senator Recto kanina, sabi n’yo, P450. More or less, P350 iyong cost, P100, admin. Hindi n’yo sinabing may another P50. Kita n’yo iyon. Income iyon. Hindi na administrative cost iyon. And you’re not allowed to impose taxes, only Congress. And you’re not allowed to impose non-fees. And that’s not a fee. That’s a profit.

ATTY. TAN: No, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO: What is it?

ATTY. TAN: If I may explain, Your Honor?

SEN. CAYETANO: Go ahead.

ATTY. TAN: We have always procured plates and stickers separately.

SEN. CAYETANO: Then why did you bid it out together?

ATTY. TAN: This time we bidded [sic] it out together because we wanted the plate number stated in the stickers.

SEN. CAYETANO: Anyway, Mr. Chair, I’ll have my turn later. Tuldukan ko lang iyong point na ito. If I bid out itong tasa na ito and the tea bag and the water together, and sinabi ko P450 kasama na admin, everything; and then I sell the tea bag P50, hiwalay. Ano ang tawag mo sa P50 na makukuha ko? Hindi ba profit iyon? Kasi iyong P450 covered na lahat pati admin cost. So, is LTO a profit-making agency?

ATTY. TAN: It is not profit strictly, Your Honor, because, on the other hand, we did not procure sticker separately already.


SEN. CAYETANO: No, sir. Profit is not about where you procure it. Profit is what you put over and above the cost. Ang cost mo, kasama na ang admin cost, is only P450. Tinubuan n’yo ang taongbayan ng P50. So why don’t we just admit to people, “Nagatasan namin kayo.” Na, “Ginatasan na namin kayo sa P450, gagatasan pa namin kayo sa P50.” If you only charge P450, will there be any loss to LTO?

ATTY. TAN: Your Honor, we cannot charge only P450.

SEN. CAYETANO: If you charge only P450, will there be a loss to LTO?

ATTY. TAN: There will be none, Your Honor.

SEN. CAYETANO: There will be none. So it’s a profit. Let me put that on record, Mr. Chair. And let me just have some time later on.

Photo from Rodel Fernandez

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Senate Alfonso Tan Jr. car registration Land Transportation Office license plates LTO plate number Alan Peter Cayetano Ralph Recto LTO sticker
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