MANILA, Philippines -- A for process improvement, C for governance.
Last Dec. 6, while I was in Subic, I discovered that my license had expired last year!
Friday morning, I decided to renew my license immediately. I asked our messenger where I should renew my license. He said that the Land Transportation Office (LTO) now had offices at malls and MRT/LRT stations.
The Ayala MRT Station LTO Office was my nearest and most convenient location.
I took the MRT from Boni to the Ayala Station. I give LTO an ?A? for moving closer to its customers.
I found the LTO office slightly before 11 a.m. and got my renewal document.
Whoops, a physical exam (eyes) and drug test is needed. Another A: There is an accredited physical exam and drug test clinic next to the LTO office.
Good instruction giving you steps 1 to 4. In window 1, you pay and get the drug test and medical exam forms.
When I was filling up the form, I was wondering why I had to swear that I don?t take drugs when I was going to have a urine test.
When I got my new license in about an hour, I understood the need for swearing.
They can?t do the urine test quickly enough so they work on an exception basis. If you fail the drug test, they can subsequently cancel your license. Another ?A? in customer convenience and process improvement.
The next step was the physical exam (essentially stepping on an old bathroom weighing scale and trying to read the letters on a mirror).
I got worried because neither my bad left eye nor my good artificial lens right eye could read below the second line of letters. So I guessed and the attendant still said OK. I thought I would have to go to an eye doctor. But apparently I ?passed?? Another ?A? for customer convenience.
The next day, I was surprised that I could read license plates of vehicles 10 to 20 meters in front of me.
The next step was a webcam camera.
I then got my papers from the clinic cashier window. It must have been 11:30 a.m. when I got back to the LTO office next door.
There was a sign that said come back at 1 p.m.
But they accommodated me. They took another webcam picture and I signed on an electronic pad.
Sat down and waited 5 minutes to be called to pay cashier in window 3.
Waited a few minutes more and got my new license! All in slightly more than one hour.
Definitely, an ?A? for the LTO process improvement team!
They have made great improvements. I remember that in the bad old days, you only got an official receipt after a few hours of waiting and had to come back a few months later for the license.
But I noticed that a professional license renewal is P400 and non-pro is P180. Not cheap but fair.
On the other hand, I had to pay P250 for the drug test and P100 for medical (eye test and weight).
This means that for nonprofessional drivers? urine and medical tests, contractors revenues are 1.944 times LTO?s revenue.
For professional drivers, the private contractors revenues are 87.5 percent of LTO?s.
From January to October 2007, the LTO license renewals and issues were as follows:
Renewal - 1,206,633
New - 255,832
Renewal - 473,877
New - 261,633
Total for 10 months - 2,197,975
Assuming that nationwide rates are the same as in Makati:
Drug test revenues would be P549,493,750 (2,197, 975 x 250).
And medical (eye) test revenues would be P219,797,500 (2,197,975 x 100).
A friend of mine that was in the drug test business says the urine drug test kits cost P80 each. She felt P250 per test was fair.
I feel that more competitive bidding could significantly reduce this cost.
I think that the eye testing should use more professional equipment or at least validate their tests against that in professional eye clinics.
I therefore give LTO a ?C? for governance. But LTO deserves congratulations for its excellent business process reengineering of the license renewal process.
For a broader perspective of process improvement in government, refer to Ver Peña?s Sept. 24, 2007 article.
(The article reflects the personal opinion of the author and does not reflect the official stand of the Management Association of the Philippines. The author is president of Systems Sciences Consult Inc. Feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org)