LTO bugged by delays in license processing

THE delays in the processing of driver’s license applications and motor vehicle registrations continue in various Land Transportation Office (LTO) sites nationwide, including Metro Manila.

The Manila Times learned that LTO frontliners were forced to render additional working hours even on weekends to process the backlogs as a result of what has been described as the “worst slowdown” in the Land Transportation Management System (LTMS).

LTO-Davao South District Office chief Melencio Diaz Jr. said their employees volunteered to work without pay even on their days off just to catch up with a month’s worth of backlog.

Another LTO official who asked not to be identified said there were issues of slowdown in their system in the past but these were immediately resolved, unlike the current problem which has been going on for more than two weeks now.

The LTMS delay was first reported in the last days of August. Long queues, frustrated customers and “offline” advisories posted on transaction windows were some of the common scenes at LTO sites in the past weeks.

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Although an investigation into the “system slowdown” was initiated by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) last week, LTO clients who shared their frustrations on social media blamed the agency’s system provider, Dermalog, for the problem.

Students and employees said that transacting at the LTO was a “hassle,” and they were forced to miss school or work due to the intermittent connection of the LTMS.

The LTMS is part of the digital shift program of the national government. In 2018, LTO awarded the said IT project, through a Joint Venture Agreement, to Dermalog and three other local companies.

The Commission on Audit (CoA) earlier flagged the LTO for the “undue payment” given to Dermalog despite…