LTO to appear at RTC hearing on August 22

After awarding the contract to supply the plastic cards (for use in driver’s licenses) to Banner Plastic Card Inc. in late June, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) received a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) on August 15.

Before the TRO, the LTO received close to 100,000 cards already and was expecting the delivery of one million cards by the end of September. Now, they must halt the delivery and processing of plastic cards from the new supplier.

Despite all that has transpired, LTO Chief Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza II calls it a “setback” and is hopeful that the agency can turn it around when it appears at the RTC hearing on Tuesday, August 22.

“Meron po itong hearing on August 22 at 2:00 PM at doon pagbibigyan ang LTO para ipakita sa korte na walang basehan ang paghinto ng delivery ng (We have a hearing on this on Aug. 22 at 2:00 PM where the LTO will be given the chance to show the court that there is no basis to stop the) delivery of license cards,” said Mendoza.

The TRO was in response to claims by previous plastic cards supplier AllCard Inc. that its disqualification will cause “irreparable injury in terms of massive financial injury due to opportunity loss and injury to [its] reputation.”

Mendoza argued that it will not be the case.

“Sa ganitong kalakalan ang pinaka importante ang ‘grave and irreparable damage’. Ano pa ang pinaka grabe na damage na mangyayari sa petitioner kung patuloy ang pag-deliver at proseso ng mga cards na ito, eh ang nakikita ko eh hindi naman ata ‘grave’ hindi naman at ‘irreparable’,” added Mendoza.

[In this kind of trade, the most important thing is 'grave and irreparable damage'. What is the worst damage that will happen to the petitioner if the delivery and processing of these cards continue, what I see is not serious, not irreparable.]

The LTO is confident that the TRO will be overturned and the delivery and processing of plastic cards from Banner Plastic Card Inc. will resume.

“I’m confident on August 22 makikita ng korte yung basehan kung bakit di kailangan ihinto ang pag-deliver at proseso ng mga (the court will see our basis as to why it’s not necessary to stop the delivery and processing of) driver’s license cards. So, with one million cards in the first 60 days, then another one million 60 days thereafter, itong taon na ito tapos na tayo sa backlog (we can end the backlog this year),” Mendoza firmly stated.

Banner Plastic Card Inc. and LTO still aim to stick to the initial timeline, which is to deliver/receive and process 1 to 1.5 million plastic cards every 60 days until it has fulfilled its contract of 5.2 million plastic cards.