SC nullifies memorandum of agreement for RFID project
The Supreme Court nullified the Radio Frequency Identification Project Memorandum of Agreement entered into by the government with Stradcom Corp. (Stradcom) in 2009 without public bidding and ordered the fees refunded.
The RFID project of the Land Transportation Office entails an additional charge of P350 for every motor vehicle.
In a decision written by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on January 31 but which was obtained Wednesday , the SC granted the petitions filed by Bayan Muna Reps. Satur Ocampo, Teodoro Casi?o, Anakpawis Rep. Joel Maglungsod, Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Liza Maza, Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) and Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP) which sought to declare the project unconstitutional.
The refund of the RFID fees collected covers the project’s implementation before the Supreme Court issued a status quo ante order last January 12, 2010, which stopped its enforcement.
Court records showed the LTO had generated P29,894,200 in RFID fees during its implementation.
“The RFID fees collected during the implementation of the RFID Project prior to the issuance of this Court’s status quo ante Order are likewise ordered refunded to the payors thereof,” the tribunal declared.
Under the RFID, all vehicles would be required to install stickers containing a microchip that stores vehicle information.
It is an automatic identification technology where digital data encoded in an RFID tag or “smart label” are captured by a reader using radio waves.
For a one-time fee of P350, the LTO planned to install the RFID tags on some 4,760,593 vehicles, which is expected to raise P1.6 billion in revenues.
The RFID tag, which is intended to last for 10 years, will be procured from Stradcom Corp.
Stradcom said the RFID project enhanced the current motor vehicle registration system, thus, there was no need for public bidding. DMS