DoTr searching for new LTO chief following Tugade resignation

(Photograph courtesy of DOTR) Atty. Jose Arturo ‘Jay Art’ Tugade

The Department of Transportation said it will recommend a new Land Transportation Office head honcho who can display the “same fervor” as outgoing chief Jay Art Tugade.

Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista said his agency will coordinate with Malacanang for recommendations following Tugade’s resignation, which Tugade said was due to differences with DoTr officials.

“We will submit to the Office of the President our recommendation for an LTO Chief who can display the same fervor while aligning efforts to the mission of this Department,” Bautista said in a statement.

Bautista extended his appreciation to Tugade for his seven-month stint as Assistant Secretary of the LTO.

“His pursuit of service innovations at LTO benefited the public, for which this office is grateful,” he said.

Tugade announced his resignation, effective the end of this month, on Monday morning.

“Even as DOTR and LTO both aim to succeed in serving the public, our methods to achieve that success differ. For this reason, I am stepping down, so Sec. Jimmy Bautista will have the free hand to choose who he can work best with,” Tugade said in his official statement.

“I will continue to root for the LTO’s success even as a private citizen because I will always share in Sec. Bautista’s belief that our offices can be a formidable force for good in our country,” he added.

Under his term, Tugade pushed for the digitalization of LTO’s systems and operations to make transactions more efficient.

However, the LTO also faced backlash after it ran out of plastic cards to print driver’s licenses, which forced the agency to print makeshift copies on paper. License plate materials were also projected to likely run out by June.

The LTO said the problem was caused by the DoTr’s issuance of an order that mandated all procurement activities worth over P50 million to pass through the central office.

The DoTr, on the other hand, reiterated that procurement should have been made in August last year as it could have prevented the materials shortage and delayed release of licenses to motorists.

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