Saturday, June 26, 2010

LTO backpedals on shutdown of direct connectivity project

MANILA, Philippines - The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has modified an order it issued last Monday stopping the pilot implementation of the private emission testing center (PETC) direct connectivity project.

LTO chief Alberto Suansing said he decided to modify the cease and desist order he issued earlier, which would allow their information technology provider Stradcom Corp. to continue the test implementation of the project but limited only to the 88 PETCs it has already covered.

He said allowing Stradcom to push through with the direct connection facility would enable LTO to check the viability and effectivity of the scheme to eradicate anomalous smoke emission tests, especially “non-appearance” cases that have been the bane of the whole smoke emission test process.

The direct connect project was proposed by Stradcom supposedly as a measure to weed out “non-appearaance cases” in view of the failure of PETCs and their information technology (IT) providers to stop these anomalous smoke emission tests.

The project, however, was blamed by PETCs for the alleged surge in non-appearance cases in the past several weeks since Stradcom launched the direct connect facility, which mainly allows the PETC to connect directly to the LTO systems database when it uploads real-time through the Internet photographs of each smoke emission test of a vehicle due for renewal of its registration.

The Clean Air Act has mandated the compulsory smoke emission testing of all vehicles whose owners are seeking the renewal of their registration with the LTO.

Lawyer Dan Barrameda, vice president for legal and corporate affairs of RDMS, one of the LTO’s four accredited PETC-IT providers, said they will file a complaint before the Department of Transportation and Communications against Suansing’s modification of his order totally stopping the direct connect facility pilot implementation because “it seems arbitrary.”

Stradcom, for its part, warned that PETC-IT providers were in danger of losing their LTO accreditation due to conflicts of interest because some PETC-IT providers allegedly own a PETC.

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