Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Jayart Tugade is taking on yet another illicit practice at his agency – “non-appearance” motor-vehicle registration.
This refers to vehicle owners conducting registration transactions through “fixers” for a hefty fee without personally showing up and presenting the car to the LTO, resulting in the vehicle being approved for the road without a mandatory inspection.
Tugade called non-appearance services as “scams,” warning the public that they can lose their money. He also said clients and vendors of these services could face legal repercussions, including jail time.
“Time and again, the LTO continues to remind clients not to patronize these spurious characters who offer their illegal services in exchange for a fee to be able to circumvent the process,” he said in a December 2022 press statement.
“We wish to reiterate that the motor vehicle registration process was put into place to protect clients and their hard-earned money, and to guarantee the safety and roadworthiness of their vehicle,” Tugade added.
The LTO said “non-appearance” services are a form of estafa or swindling under the Revised Penal Code.
These also violate Republic Act 11032 or the “Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.”
Tugade noted that many of these illegal services are offered at emission-testing centers, which certify a vehicle’s compliance with government emission standards, and on social media.
The LTO chief said he will also fire personnel who cooperate with fixers offering these services.
“If putting an end to this corrupt practice means removing LTO personnel from government service, then so be it,” he said.
“Again, I’d like to remind LTO personnel that I have zero tolerance on corruption,” Tugade added. “We will weed them out of the Agency if they put the LTO’s name in a bad light.”
Tugade was appointed head of the notoriously troublesome agency on November 2022, promising to stamp out corruption using technology.
He has also taken on allegations of corruption against LTO enforcers and accredited clinics that issue “rubber-stamp” medical certificates.
On December 2022, the LTO slapped a 60-day suspension on a Bacolod City clinic for issuing a “statistically improbable” number of certificates without actually conducting a medical examination on driver’s license applicants.
What other issues should LTO chief Tugade take on?
Source: Surprise! ‘Non-appearance’ vehicle registration is a crime — LTO chief Tugade