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LTO warns of fixers, scammers on FB

The Land Transportation Office warned the public against giving out personal information on social media, especially against scammers and fixers, or those who offer a driver’s license without taking an exam, for a price.

In an advisory, the LTO specifically warned against a Facebook page with the handle @OfficialLTOlicenseassistance or LTO License Assistance Center, noting that the page offers the processing of driver’s licenses and charges P3,500 to P6,500.

“These scammers are encouraging fixing through non-taking and non-appearance in the driver’s license exam,” the LTO said.

It cautioned the public against providing private and personal information to such pages and individuals as it could result in possible “identity theft and other unlawful activities”.

The driver’s licenses issued through said Facebook page or any other individual outside an LTO office are “counterfeit and invalid”, it said.

“Thus, a motorist who is caught possessing a fake license will be meted with stiffer penalties,” the LTO added.

COMPLAINTS FILED

The Anti-Red Tape Authority, meanwhile, filed complaints against two LTO officials before the Office of the Ombudsman for ease of doing business violations.

Marvin Ken Du, the authorized representative of Du Ek Sam Inc., Des Marketing Inc., Des Strong Motors Inc., Desmark Corporation, and Premio Corporation, filed a complaint against Victor Emmanuel Caindec, regional director of the LTO Region 7.

Investigation showed that the complainant’s corporations applied for initial registration of motor vehicles and initial accreditation and renewal of accreditation of their branches in Region 7, from 2019 to 2020.

Under the LTO Citizen Charter’s 2019 (3rd Edition), the initial registration of motor vehicles should only take one hour and 20 minutes while both initial registration of motor vehicles and renewal for accreditation should only take two hours and 40 minutes.

After printing the Certificates of Registration, the applicant should present the Official Receipts to the releasing or supply officer for the release of their documents, which would only take 10 minutes.

Du Ek Sam Inc. filed 15 vehicle motor registrations that were released in three batches.

The OR for the first batch, dated Jan. 22, 2020, and the ORs dated Feb. 3, 2020, were only released on March 3, 2020. For the next batch, the ORs were dated March 17, 2020 while the CRs were dated May 26, 2020.

On the last batch of registrations, the ORs were dated Aug. 7, 2020 while the CRs were dated Aug. 10, 2020, but they were only released on Aug. 11, 2020.

Similar pattern was seen in hundreds of motor vehicle registrations filed by the complainant corporations from 2019 to 2020.

LTO Region 7 has also not released the corporations’ Certificates of Accreditation even after they submitted complete requirements and paid the necessary fees, and despite the provision in its Citizen’s Charter that these should only take up to 12 days to process.

The corporations were also reportedly required by the government office to submit additional documents not included in its Citizen’s Charter.

The complainant filed a letter of complaint to ARTA on June 30, 2020.

A clarificatory hearing was set on Sept. 25, but was rescheduled to Sept. 30, after the LTO official filed a manifestation.

In his explanation, Caindec said all his actions were consistent with existing rules and regulations. He noted that they have released 19,868 records from the complainant corporations from January to September 2020.

ARTA received Caindec’s urgent motion to inhibit and terminate further proceedings and the complainant’s opposition with motion for immediate resolution. A final clarificatory hearing was set on Feb. 11, 2021.

ARTA recommended that Caindec be held liable for violation of Section 21, paragraphs (a), (b), and 75 counts of paragraph (e) of Republic Act No. 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.

It also asked the Ombudsman for the LTO official’s preventive suspension pending the investigation of his case.

ARTA recommended that the case be referred to the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission for further investigation for possible violation of Republic Act 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, as well as any other laws, rules, and regulations.*PNA/PR

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