LTO Maintains IT Contract with Dermalog Despite Legislative Pressure

MANILA - The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has decided to continue its contract with Dermalog for managing the Land Transportation Management System (LTMS), despite suggestions from lawmakers to end the agreement. This decision was articulated during a House Committee on Transportation hearing on Tuesday, where LTO chief Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza II emphasized the agency's reliance on Dermalog for the operation of the LTMS.

According to Philippines News Agency, the LTO lacks the internal resources and expertise necessary to independently manage the LTMS, which is crucial for processing the registration of millions of motor vehicles and driver's licenses annually. This response came during a dialogue with the committee chairman, Antipolo Rep. Romeo Acop, who had urged the LTO to sever ties with Dermalog following negative findings in a 2023 Commission on Audit report. Mendoza indicated the agency's stance was aligned with governmental interests, proposing further discussions in a more private setting due to ongoing legal proceedings at the Supreme Court involving the contract.

The hearing also included comments from SAGIP party-list Representative Rodante Marcoleta, who advocated for replacing Dermalog with another service provider, Stradcom. Mendoza, new to his position since July of the previous year, responded by expressing the need to evaluate Stradcom's capabilities thoroughly.

Amidst these discussions, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Undersecretary Reinier Paul Yebra expressed the department's focus on maintaining efficient public service without disruptions. This sentiment aligns with the directive from Secretary Jaime Bautista, who has emphasized the importance of smooth transitions in service provision, especially regarding the transfer of crucial operational data from Stradcom to the LTO.