GMA HOLDS CABINET MEETING AT THE LAND TRANSPORTATION OFFICE

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, OCTOBER 28, 2003  (STAR) By Rainier Allan Ronda - The Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on East Avenue, Quezon Ciy suddenly became hives of activity yesterday.

The reason: President Arroyo decided to conduct her weekly Cabinet meeting right at the LTO central office’s main building that morning.

People doing business at the two government offices noted the difference a "presidential" presence makes in terms of service from government employees.

Those following up the issuance or renewal of their driver’s licenses with the LTO told The STAR that there was a marked improvement in the speed of service particularly at the departments that deals with the issuance of driver’s licenses.

"Sana pala madalas mag-Cabinet meeting dito si Presidente (We hope the President will hold her Cabinet meetings here often)," one license applicant told The STAR.

Sources told The STAR that security was strict and there were no "fixers" around.

It can be recalled that Arroyo made a surprise visit at the LTO head office last June wherein she caught the agency’s employees going home way before the close of government office hours and confirming reports reaching her of the bad state of affairs in the said office herself.

Arroyo then gave then LTO chief Roberto Lastimoso a humiliating public tongue-lashing. Lastimoso was subsequently sacked from his post several weeks later.

Farley Viola, LTO Public Information Office chief, said that they were only informed of the Malacañang decision to hold the Cabinet meeting at the LTO’s Bulwagang Romeo Edu last Friday.

He said that as far as he knows, no more Cabinet meetings will be held at the LTO again in the near future.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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