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Another petition asking SC to void driver’s license cards project filed

MANILA, Nov 22 (Mabuhay) — A party-list lawmaker on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to scrap the Land Transportation Office’s P836-million project involving the procurement of driver’s license cards this year.

ACTS OFW party-list Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III argued that the General Appropriations Act of 2016 did not allocate a single centavo for the procurement of driver’s license cards with five-year validity.

Bertiz cited Article 6, Section 29 (1) of the 1987 Constitution which provides that “no money shall be paid out of the Treasury “except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law.”

“If Congress had deliberately and purposely intended to appropriate public funds to be used as an expenditure for the LTO-Driver’s License Cards, it would have specifically and particularly approved an item of appropriation for the ‘production of driver’s licenses’ as it purposely and deliberately did in the GAA 2013,” the petition stated.

“In the absence of a specific and particular item of appropriation for the ‘production of driver’s licenses’ in the GAA 2016, Congress evidently and without nary a doubt deliberately determined and intended not to appropriate any public money for the procurement of driver’s license cards. Thus, GAA 2016 did not allocate a single centavo for procurement of LTO-Driver’s License Cards,” it added.

Bertiz then urged the SC to stop the implementation of the project, “which includes the sale and conveyance of driver’s license cards and the collection of money” from motor vehicle and motorcycle drivers/owners and “disbursing and using public funds for the payment of suppliers.”

Named respondents to the petition were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, National Treasurer Rosalia De Leon, Commission on Audit Chairperson Michael Aguinaldo and LTO chief Edgar Galvante.

The petition stemmed from the awarding of the procurement of 8,360,000 pieces of driver’s license cards to NEXTIX, Dermalog Identification Systems, and CFP Strategic Transaction Advisors Joint Venture, which placed a bid of P829,668,053.55.

Two other contractors participated in the bidding for the project, namely, the Kolonwel and AT Pura joint venture and Banner Plasticard Inc., which posted a bid of P814.32 million and P750 million, respectively.

Bertiz’s petition came six months after the Anti-Trapo Movement (ATM) of the Philippines, Inc., an anti-corruption watchdog, asked the high court in May to scrap the project, alleging it was contracted out to the Dermalog, CFP and NEXTIX joint venture “in clear violation of existing procurement laws.” (MNS)

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