The Department of Transportation and its line agency, the Land Transportation Office, seem to be cursed to experience backlogs in providing such things as motor vehicle license plates and driver’s license.
It also seems to be cursed with lawsuits filed by disgruntled bidders for supply contracts which may be the cause of the backlogs.
The latest manifestation of this curse is the temporary restraining order issued by a Quezon City Regional Trial Court against the delivery of plastic cards used for the issuance of driver’s licenses.
The court was acting on a petition seeking for a TRO filed by AllCard Inc. which had been disqualified during the bidding for the contract to supply the LTO with plastic cards for licenses.
AllCard had accused the Centralized Bids and Awards Committee of the Department of Transportation of committing grave abuse of discretion in disqualifying the company from the bidding.
AllCard also claimed it had submitted the lowest bid for the license card supply contract.
The TRO is forcing the LTO to extend the validity of driver’s licenses that expired from April 24 onwards until April of next year, or until the AllCard court case has been resolved and the supply of plastic cards normalized.
Back when the plastic card supply problem emerged, then LTO chief Jay Art Tugade issued a memorandum circular that extended the validity of licenses expiring on April 24 and onwards up October 31, 2023.
The memorandum circular was issued in expectation of the issue of the shortage of plastic cards having been resolved with the supply contract awarded and delivery assured.
A few weeks back, DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista, in a press statement, said the shortage of plastic cards should be resolved by September and things would be normalized.
It’s now September and the LTO is heard telling a House congressional hearing that the validity of driver’s licenses that expired in April 24 would be extended up to the same month in 2024.
LTO officials said they were hoping for the court case filed by AllCard to be resolved soon and the delivery of the plastic cards by the winning bidder to be implemented.
Meanwhile, the backlog in the issuance of driver’s licenses continues to grow.
LTO chief Vigo Mendoza II said that once plastic cards are available, applications for renewal of driver’s licenses will resume in the normal process. Motorists with extended drivers’ licenses will be given time to get them renewed.
Motorists who have been issued the so-called paper licenses and e-DLs, can then expect their proper plastic license cards to be processed and issued to them.
Another curse of the backlog.
The DOTr, the LTO, as well as other departments and line agencies, should really work hard and with care to ensure the bidding process for government supply contracts should never be questioned in the courts.
Or are we really cursed to suffer more of the same?
Hyundai Motor Philippines and Gateway Motors are again working together to further extend the South Korean carmakers’ network of dealerships providing access to sustainable and innovative vehicles, including electric vehicles.
Ground has been broken for the construction of Hyundai Cebu-Talisay, another addition to Hyundai’s roster of electric vehicle outlets that also carry the Hyundai Global Dealership Space Identity 2.0.
Says Hyundai Motor Philippines president Dong Wook Lee: “We are very fortunate that the Gateway Group share the same passion as us when it comes to mobility and the community at large. Cebuanos will soon have an even easier access to our sustainable and innovative cars, most especially the back-to-back World Car of The Year winners, the IONIQ 5 and 6.”
Hyundai is among brands seriously working to bring about the transition toward electrified mobility in the country. Gateway Motors is one of the multi-brand dealership networks that is helping bring about this transformation.
Refreshed Hilux GR-S
Toyota Motor Philippines has made it a habit to provide a sneak preview of upcoming upgraded or new models at legs of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Vios Cup.
The latest is the 2024 Hilux GR Sport, previewed at Leg 2 of the TGR Vios Cup held at the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga.
The revamped Toyota Hilux GR-S looks even more robust and rugged with more angular bumpers, expanded over-fenders, metal front skid plate, and 17-inch Dakar-inspired alloy wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires.
Toyota says the suspension has been beefed up, the powertrain powered up to generate 224 hp and 550 Nm of torque, and the ADAS enhanced in the 2024 Hilux GR-S.
Toyota promises this will be soon made available at all dealerships with a P2.166 million sticker price.
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