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LTO sees no need to terminate IT deal with Dermalog

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MANILA: The Land Transportation Office (LTO) on Tuesday rejected the suggestion of lawmakers to terminate its land transportation management system (LTMS) contract with its current information technology service provider, Dermalog. During the House Committee on Transportation hearing, LTO chief Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza II said the agency does not have the capability to take over the LTMS, through which the registration of millions of motor vehicles in the country and driver's licenses are processed every year. 'We cannot on our own run the system without the assistance of our IT service provider Dermalog. The LTO does not have sufficient IT know-how and personnel to take charge of the system,' Mendoza said in response to a question posed by committee chairman, Antipolo Rep. Romeo Acop. Dermalog is a German company that heads a joint venture with local firms that the LTO had contracted in 2018 to develop and manage LTMS, which the government now owns. Acop had earlier asked the LTO chief to scrap the Dermalog contract largely due to an adverse 2023 Commission on Audit report. 'I assure you, Mr. Chairman, that our position is in the best interest of the government. We can explain it in a closed-door session because of the presence of parties here that are litigants in a case pending in the Supreme Court (involving the contract),' Mendoza said. Meanwhile, SAGIP party-list Representative Rodante Marcoleta said the LTO should replace Dermalog with Stradcom as the agency's service provider. However, the LTO chief said that he is new in his job, having been appointed only in July last year, and would have to check on the track record of Stradcom. 'We will have to validate their capability to walk the talk,' Mendoza said. Prodded by committee members to comment on the issue, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Undersecretary Reinier Paul Yebra said the DOTr's interest is in the provision of 'efficient service.' 'This is a contract between LTO and its IT provider. As the mother agency and per the direct ive of Secretary Jaime Bautista, we want to ensure na wala pong (that there is no) disruption sa service sa publiko (in the services to the public),' he said. In a letter dated last May 2, Bautista reminded Stradcom president Anthony Quiambao to turn over to LTO all data it had collected during the duration of its contract. He said the data submission 'is crucial for a smooth transition to the new vehicle registration module and to expedite transaction processing for better service to our clients and stakeholders.' 'However, due to delays in transmission and missing data in the entries submitted, there are still obstacles to the execution and implementation of the new vehicle registration module of the LTO,' Bautista said in his letter. Source: Philippines News Agency