The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has just announced that they have shut down their Central Office at 12:00 noon today. The reason: 12 staff members tested positive for the coronavirus.
Yes, after the LTO had detected that 12 of their employees had tested positive, they immediately suspended transactions both at the Central Office and the Quezon City Licensing Office, both of which are co-located at the Land Transportation Office compound on East Avenue. The decision was also undertaken to continue the work suspension until Friday.
“The health and safety of our employees, as well as those of the public whom we are serving, is important,” said Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante, LTO Chief. “We have suspended operations in order to make sure that the threat of spreading the coronavirus at our offices is contained. We are now conducting disinfection as well as further testing on all of our employees.”
The LTO discovered that there were positive cases in their ranks after they had conducted a rapid test on 100 employees. Of the 100, 12 were positive in the rapid test and are now being verified with RT-PCR tests. They are now awaiting the results of their tests under the more accurate PCR method.
We contacted LTO Executive Director Romeo Vera Cruz earlier today, and he also confirmed the matter. He did, however, assure motorists that need to renew their LTO documents that the Central Office and the Quezon City Licensing Office will both reopen on Monday.
“We will undertake rapid testing to all our Central Office personnel, including security guards, and disinfect the premises. We will resume operations on Monday,” said LTO ED Vera Cruz.
During the two-month Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) period, the Land Transportation Office has had to suspend all transactions, causing concern amongst those motorists that had expiring licenses or motor vehicle registrations. To assuage motorists, the LTO had extended the validity of licenses and vehicle registrations with a two month grace period that began when the General Community Quarantine was implemented in their respective locales.
For areas that scaled back the quarantine restrictions to GCQ on May 15 (i.e. Rizal), motorists have until mid-July to renew. For Metro Manila, those with license or vehicle registrations that expired during the ECQ have until the end of July to renew their licenses without penalties.
The LTO also reiterated that clients that need to renew their license or acquire a student permit can do so online at LTO NCR pilot sites. These are located at Eastwood Mall along C-5 while another is at Ever Gotesco.