Scores drawn to multibillion-peso LTO contract bid
The Land Transportation Office’s (LTO) information technology (IT) supply and operations contract may be one of the most hotly contested projects on the government auction block, a top Cabinet official said Thursday.
More than 100 companies have shown their interest in bidding for the multibillion-peso deal to replace controversial Stradcom Corp. as the agency’s computer systems provider, Transportation Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II said.
“This project is the first step of the road network IT system for the country,” Roxas said, revealing that the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) was drawing up plans to bid out a similar but separate contract covering the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), which oversees the country’s public transport system.
Roxas said more than 100 “participants,” each representing a company, attended the pre-bid conference for the deal held earlier this week.
“We are doing this so there will be seamless sharing of data between the two agencies. This will eliminate the problem we have today where a car registered with the LTO as a public utility vehicle (PUV) does not have a franchise with the LTFRB,” Roxas said.
He said this would also make it impossible for the LTFRB to issue franchises to vehicles not registered with the LTO—a problem that both agencies are struggling with today.
Amid calls for the DoTC to simply renew its existing arrangement with Stradcom Corp., which has been the LTO’s supplier for 13 years, Roxas said crafting a new contract would eliminate loopholes plaguing the current deal.
“The current contract was made 13 years ago. No one can deny that technology has changed, values have changed, terms of operations, or the number of cars on the road and transactions that have to be handled, have changed,” he explained.
“And in those 13 years, loopholes and oversights in the previous contract have cropped up,” added Roxas, president of the ruling Liberal Party, which counts President Aquino among its members.
One of the biggest mistakes in the previous contract was a provision that allowed Stradcom to retain ownership of computer equipment the LTO used.
“We can’t even access our own LTO database without passing through Stradcom,” Roxas said.
“In order to get the best technology possible at the prices we want, we have to bid this out.”
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