The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) extended the contract of LTO-IT system provider Stradcom Corp. temporarily as winning bidder Digitext Asia Corp., failed to qualify due to technicalities.

Digitext Asia failed to present a valid mayor’s permit for year 2012 and non-submission of bill of quantities of items proposed.

"Because of the exacting requirement of RA 9184, the BAC has no choice except to conclude that it failed in the post-qualification," Undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla, chairman of the DOTC’s BAC, said.

(DOTC) Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) has informed the next lowest bidder Fritz & Maczoil that it is being considered as the new supplier and was requested to submit documentary requirements.

The contract with Stradcom expired yesterday February 10. The DOTC extended the contract for eight more months while the agency is finalizes a deal with the new provider. The agency also noted that the contract can be terminated sooner at its discretion as soon as the new provider takes over.

The extension of Stradcom services was entered into by the DOTC as an emergency procurement under the provisions of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

"After assessing the current situation, we have decided to procure the services of Stradcom for eight months in order not to disrupt the automated system now being used by LTO and avoid reverting into manual operation," Lotilla added.

The bidding for the PhP8.2-billion LTO-IT was subject to much controversy and delayed by several months when a Quezon City court issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against it. It was only when the Court of Appeals favored the argument of the DOTC when the TRO was set aside and the bidding was able to proceed.

The new LTO-IT system aims to provide a viable and long-term solution to the land transportation agency’s needs and an additional P2 billion a year, since all computer fees will accrue to the government. It will also make it easier for authorities to recover stolen vehicles, trace smuggled vehicles, prevent double registration, and monitor unregistered vehicles.

The new system will also interlink with the automation system of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the which should streamline the operations and interconnectivity of both division with regards to franchising and registration of PUVs.