Corruption-prone processes at LTO

By: Atty. Ruphil F. Bañoc July 19,2019 - 07:25 AM


Just last April of this year, I experienced two agonies when I processed my driver’s license renewal. First, the waiting area for the license applicants is uncomfortable because of the problem in the air-conditioning units in one of the LTO’s offices in Cebu at that time, and second, the tedious and long process in the transaction. 

I spent almost one day following a long process for my driver’s license renewal. Like other applicants, I religiously followed the step-by-step instruction of the LTO. 

Admittedly, I wished that LTO officials could realize and find simple and fast ways to facilitate such kind of transaction. Many of the new driver’s license applicants and those who just want to have their licenses renewed were murmuring over the unnecessary inconveniences of the process.  

I am pleased to know that LTO has satellite offices already in malls so that the problem of comfort will already be addressed. At least, one can do other things inside the mall while having transactions at LTO. 

However, the second problem, which is the tedious process, if remains unsolved, will invite corruption to continue even inside the mall. People naturally want to finish their transactions as fast as possible. That is the gate for corrupt LTO people to offer a fast-tracking in the process of the issuance of a driver’s license but in exchange for a big amount of money. Given the tediousness of the process, applicants tend to seek the services of fixers who have contacts inside the LTO.

True enough, last Friday, 6 employees of LTO, who were assigned in the mall, and 2 fixers, were arrested during the entrapment operation by the NBI because of corruption. It happened at the satellite office in SM City Seaside, which was once announced proudly by LTO Regional Director Victor Caindec as an innovation of LTO.

The 6 employees of LTO who were charged with violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and the Anti Red Tape Law are Marilyn Erederos, Jonathan Magudato, Epifanio Callino Jr., Charise Mae Cabigon, Gladys Bario Mendero and Dembert Dasig. 

The two fixers who allegedly approached the license applicants and offered to fast-track the transactions in exchange of 7,500 pesos are Fredlyn De Lara and Dexter Capendit. 

According to Atty. Wenceslao Galendez, leader of the NBI arresting team, the LTO organic staffs were in connivance with the two private individuals who are tagged as “fixers.” With the NBI operation, it is confirmed that fixers are not working on their own but have – well, not surprisingly — insiders as their contacts.  

This problem is a challenge of LTO high ranking officials and in Central Visayas to Director Caindec who announced his seriousness in cleansing the LTO. Aside from arresting corrupt employees at LTO, Caindec should make changes in the process. Corruption thrives well on messy and tedious process.  

No one will tap the services of fixers if the legitimate process is already smooth and fast. People suspect that the dillydallying in the setting up of a reasonable process is intentional on the part of some corrupt LTO officials so that people will be easily tempted to hire the services of their frontliners, the fixers.  

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