LTO targets to distribute license plates from 2013 backlog

THE DEPARTMENT of Transportation (DoTr) said the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is working to finally distribute the backlog of 11 million license plates from 2013 that have accumulated, now that the Commission on Audit (COA) has given clearance for its production.
In a statement on Wednesday, the DoTr said COA has lifted its notice of disallowance on July 17, allowing the LTO to proceed with the government’s deal with the plates’ suppliers, and include the pending license plates from before July 2016 in its nationwide distribution, the initial coverage plan.
“The pending 11 million plates will be distributed after the LTO submits its recommendation on the amended contract next week,” it said.
The joint venture of Knieriem BV Goes and Power Plates Development Concept Inc. (JKG-PPI) is the government’s partner for the license plate production, but COA ordered the LTO to stop its deal in July 2015 because of alleged violation of procurement rules.
“They assured us that they will just follow our lead. Kung anong gusto ng gobyerno, ‘yun ang masusunod (What the government wants is what will be followed). That’s why we are very positive that distribution of the license plates will happen soon,” LTO Chief Edgar C. Galvante said.
The DoTr also said most of the license plates from the July 2016 to December 2017 backlog have already been delivered to regional offices.
Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade earlier said the target distribution of the plates is in September or October. — Denise A. Valdez

Duterte orders creation of Dengvaxia panel of experts

HEALTH SECRETARY Francisco T. Duque on Wednesday, Aug. 15, said President Rodrigo R. Duterte has ordered his Cabinet to approve the creation of a panel of experts that will be investigating the Dengvaxia-related deaths in the country. In a press briefing at the Palace, Mr. Duque said the Department of Health has already submitted a list to the Cabinet Secretary for review. He noted that the list includes experts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations who are implementing a “Dengvaxia immunization program, although limited to the private sector.” — Arjay L. Balinbin