Swindle (noun): to cheat (a person, business, etc.) out of money or other assets
An acquaintance shared a recent experience at a local car dealership after completing their annual vehicle registration.
They talked about how this was the second year in a row seeing the “mysterious” P50 charge for “cost of stickers” on the Land Transportation Office (LTO) receipt; mysterious because it was the second year in a row no such stickers were provided. When they asked the car dealership about the charge, they said the stickers were not available – the exact same situation both last year and this year.
Last year, the paid P50 sticker never arrived; now, the same request for payment is being made for the same item? Why demand payment for something that seemingly does not exist, and then ask for it again the following year?
While many may scoff at P50, it is quite a bold request by the LTO to have people pay money every year for something that never shows up.
The issue surrounding LTO sticker fees even made their way to a Senate hearing a couple years ago, when then-LTO chief Alfonso Tan, Jr. was pressed on the issue of the P50 sticker fee, wherein he passed the buck and blamed the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).
In January 2016, he resigned from the position, some claiming he was forced out due to negligence at the post.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) often warns consumers of scams, such as schemes where people are asked to provide money for something that never comes to fruition. In this case, besides perhaps the amount of money being requested, there is no difference between somebody promising appointed barangay positions or government-issued stickers – in the end, both cases result in money being paid with no result.
According to a press release from the local LTO earlier this month, LTO-Bacolod chief Renato Novero called on local automobile dealers to stop blaming his agency for delays in processing new vehicle registration. They also discussed their LTO Provincial Law Enforcement Service, which will conduct law enforcement activities, including monitoring vehicle registrations.
They make such an effort to discuss that issue (one pertaining primarily on optics), yet insufficient stickers for (at least) two years is not a priority. If adherence to policy is so important, why are drivers being set up for failure by not making the sticker they are paying for available?
Two years is a reasonable amount of time to have stickers made available./WDJ