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Fixers more rampant after LTO shifted to e-governance, says OIC

Fixers have become more rampant since the Land Transportation Office's (LTO) shifted to e-governance, due to many people's computer illiteracy, the agency’s officer-in-charge Assistant Secretary Hector Villacorta told a Senate panel Wednesday.

“There are two school of thoughts sa LTO. Nung in-e-governance namin, ‘yung computerized, lalong nagka-fixer dahil karamihan ng nag-a-apply na driver hindi computer-literate. So lalong lumalapit doon sa mga, ‘Oh computer, computer, kami ang bahala, P2,000,’” Villacorta said during the Senate hearing on bills for e-governance.

“So we have to hybrid siguro ‘yung mga hindi computer-literate, maybe we just need to extend public assistance so they don’t have to go to the fixers along the sidewalk of East Avenue,” he added.

Villacorta likewise said they are looking at removing the comprehensive exam for those renewing their driver’s license.

“We are trying to scrap the comprehensive exam because you do not unlearn driving. So why take an exam when you have to renew? So we are looking at that, sir,” he said when Senator Alan Peter Cayetano suggested that the LTO make license renewal simple and online by putting up a database where drivers’ violations and other related data can be viewed.

The newly designated LTO head also said they are seeing the backlogs on driver’s license cards addressed by the end of 2023.

“We are looking at a fast purchase of at least the license cards within two months because the five million cards na backlog talaga will take until November. So meron tayo iniisip na emergency purchase through NEDA,” he said.

Asked if they predict that the issuance of driver license cards will be back to normal by the end of the year, Villacorta answered in the affirmative.

In April, LTO announced it would print out drivers' licenses on paper due to the shortage of plastic cards.

Villacorta earlier said that he wishes to address the lack of license cards and license plates for motorcycles during his stint in the agency. — BM, GMA Integrated News