The Land Transportation Office (LTO) is firm in its position to continue with the controversial Motor Vehicle License Plates Standardization Program even after the Commission on Audit (COA) has deemed it 'illegal' based on findings that it violated the Government Procurement Reform Act.

According to COA, the bidding was awarded to the supplier in 2013 despite the fact that the program's budget was only approved in 2014; prompting the commission to issue a "notice of disallowance" on payments. The agency has six months to appeal the COA notice.

"The License Plate Standarization Program will continue in the interest of public service. We cannot afford to discontinue the program since a lot of motor vehicles will be left without plates which will lead to dire consequences," said Jason Salvador, LTO spokesperson.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court dismissed a petition against the license plate program filed in May, supporting the legitimacy and validity of the said deal.

"We will appeal the COA disallowance notice and trust that the documents we have submitted before and the Supreme Court ruling will put to rest all questions pertaining to the program. We will convince the COA to see the light and lift the disallowance in the soonest possible time," Salvador added.

The agency is once again asking the public to bear with them with regards to "preceived" delays with replacement of plates and new license plates. "We are doing all our best to remedy the issues concerning these matters," said Salvador. The agency will also appeal to its supplier J. Knieriem B.V. Goes and Power Plates Development Concepts, Inc. (JKG-PPDCI) to continue supplying plates despite the COA notice. JKG-PPDCI  bagged the PhP3.185-B five-year supply contract for motor vehicle (PhP1.989-B) and motorcycle (PhP1.196-B) license plates last 2013.