LTO still searching for new IT provider

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) is keen on looking for a new Information Technology (IT) provider in its quest to address problems in the agency such as the slow processing of documents like driver’s licenses’ applications.

Newly-minted LTO chief Teofilo Guadiz has called out recently its current IT provider, Germany-based Dermalog, for processing delays and the long lines in district offices, saying driver’s license renewals before usually take only two hours instead of the current five to six days.

He said that he is set to meet with Dermalog executives this week.

“There’s delay in the process, lines are getting long in district offices. So we have to address these problems and we have to revisit the IT provider,” Guadiz said. “I want to check and review the contract. I will ask them if they can deliver. If not, we would look to other IT providers.

For its part, Dermalog – through its spokesperson Atty. Nikki De Vega – defended the IT company.

“The current Land Transportation Management System (LTMS) has proven to be faster by tests conducted by the LTO comparing LTMS to the previous system provided by Stradcom,” said De Vega said of Dermalog, which has been LTO’s IT provider since 2018.

“While under the previous system, Stradcom charged the public computer fees which resulted in billions of pesos of collections for the private company — under the new LTMS system, these are now free to the public,” she added.

De Vega was referring to LTO’s old IT provider Stradcom, which provided services to the LTO from 1998 to 2016.

She also stressed that the problems arose following the delays of turnover of legacy database from Stradcom which forced the LTO personnel to correct manually the missing information that prolonged the process of transactions.

Guadiz allegedly allowed Stradcom Chief Executive Officer Anthony Quiambao on 4 August to make his presentation inside the LTO office without inviting current IT provider Dermalog to present its case as LTO’s next possible IT provider.

He even mentioned in interviews that Stradcom is welcomed to join the bidding process if the current provider will not deliver as promised.

However, Guadiz denied that Stradcom would be returning anytime soon to replace Dermalog, whose contract runs up to 2026.

“There’s no truth to it,” Guadiz said in a recent interview.

Meantime, a high-ranking official from the LTO who requested anonymity believes that a strict bidding process must be held to select an effective IT provider if Dermalog won’t fulfill its promise.

“It’s time to open the gate for bidding and find the deserving IT provider if Dermalog will not fulfill its promise,” said the official.

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