LTO admits image problem, rejects 'most corrupt' tag

Jay Dayupay, ABS-CBN News

GENERAL SANTOS CITY - Land Transportation Office chief Roberto Cabrera denied Wednesday that the LTO is one of the most corrupt agencies in government, as claimed by presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte.

In an interview, Cabrera said the LTO was actually in a worst situation four years ago. He pointed out that the LTO is not even in the top 10 agencies facing the most number of cases before the Ombudsman. 

"Wala tayong nawawalang pera, everything is in order," he said. 

However, the LTO chief admitted that the agency has an image problem. 

"We have a problem of perception. This may be perceived by some groups or even the president himself na mahirap katransaksiyon ang LTO," he said. 

READ: Duterte hits 3 'most corrupt' government agencies

Cabrera said one of his missions after he took over as LTO chief in January was to clean up the agency. 

"Ako ang paniwala ko, hindi ho lahat ng LTO ay bulok eh. Marami pa rin pong matitino," he said. 

The LTO has come under fire after running out of plastic drivers' license cards and license plates earlier this year. 

Cabrera confirmed that he still has a backlog of 2.7 million license plates. 

Last month, the Bureau of Customs turned over 300,000 pairs of vehicle license plates to the LTO. Cabrera said the agency currently has 300,000 plates for motor vehicles and 100,000 for motorcycles. 

The Department of Transportation and Communications is also in the middle of bidding out a contract for the supply of license cards. 

"When I came in January, ang backlog natin for 2015 ay nasa 700,000. Ang good news is napunan na natin yan pero ngayon, wala na tayong cards for 2016 kaya nasa DOTC na yan ngayon and they are preparing the bid documents," he said. 

Cabrera apologized to the public for the shortcomings of the agency. 

"Naraming salamat po sa pasensiya. Pasensiya na rin po kayo sa mga konting abala ho na naibigay ng LTO. Rest assured that we are trying to do our best to serve the public well," he said. 

He also had the following advice for the incoming LTO chief. 

"Just be strong. My advice to the incoming LTO chief, go after the dirty people of LTO. Wala tayong dapat panigan. File cases if necessary, we owe that to the public," he said.