The Land Transportation Office (LTO) is in the hot seat again. Among the many hassles that transacting motorists encounter with the agency, two things top the list: 1) the non-availability of license plates and 2) the non-availability of plastic cards for driver’s licenses.
Coming from Juan Dela Cruz’s point-of-view (POV), it is inevitable that the question “We’ve already paid for [insert license plate or driver’s license], how come you don’t have the supply?” or “Can’t the LTO just use the money collected from our payments for [insert license plate or driver’s license] to procure materials?”
Well, it doesn’t work that way, says LTO.
Funds come from GAA
Like all government agencies, the LTO gets funded through the General Appropriations Act (GAA). In a nutshell, GAA is a law that Congress and the Senate pass each year to determine how much budget the entire Philippine government needs to function for the upcoming year.
This law also determines how much budget a government agency will get to function, as well as to realize their projects. For LTO, the budget for the procurement of materials for driver’s licenses, and other stuff, including license plates, and even hiring new employees, come from the GAA.
That said, the funds that the agency collects from its daily transactions are not retained for keeping, nor retained to procure the necessary materials such as the metal for license plate stamping or pre-printed plastic cards for driver’s licenses.
“The LTO is not authorized to retain funds collected/received from the day-to-day operations. All funds collected are remitted the following day. LTO’s funds come from the GAA, and not from the daily collections,” said LTO Finance Division Chief, Marivic Lopez.
Lopez also explained that the agency’s daily collections are remitted daily to the Bureau of the Treasury, which is under the Department of Finance.
This was also explained by former Department of Transportation (DOTr) assistant secretary, Goddes Hope Libiran, in a 2021 statement. “Yung mga ibinayad po natin para sa ating mga plaka noon ay diretsong nai-remit na po ng LTO sa national treasury. (The payments that were made for the number plates were already remitted by the LTO to the National Treasury). Please understand that LTO neither holds nor maintains any revenue it collects from motorists.”