By Jhon Aldrin Casinas
The Land Transportation Office (LTO) on Tuesday said it will look into the circumstances that led to easy accessibility of car owners’ names and their vehicles’ license plate numbers in the agency’s website.
“I will check on that… kung may pagkakamali (if there is any wrongdoing), if ever,” LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante said in a press briefing on Tuesday.
“Sa pagkaka-alam ko di pino-post ang pangalan (As far as I know, names should not be posted),” he said. “Kung public record, pwede yun (If it’s public record, it’s allowed). But I don’t want to comment on that until I can see kung ano yung problema (what the problem is),” he added.
The concerned information were posted in the “Latest Advisory” section of the LTO website, titled “LIST OF MOTOR VEHICLE PLATE NUMBER WITH OWNERS” on March 5, 2018 and was updated three days later.
The posts, which have since been taken down shortly after the question was raised in the press briefing Tuesday, contains the list of names of car owners and their respective license plate numbers registered in various regions in the country.
Galvante explained they only post the names and license plate numbers of car owners whenever their impounded vehicles are set for auction.
“One way of telling them… pino-post namin yung may-ari (we post the names of the owners). Only to identify them and not to advertise,” Galvante said.
Under the Section 3, Number 6 of the “Proactive Disclosure” of LTO’s Freedom of Information Agency and People’s Manuals, information like as budgetary and financial records, administrative records, public bidding documents, and programs and projects are posted in the LTO website.
Meanwhile, Department of Transportation Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Reinier Paul Yebra suspects that the information posted online was not covered under the Data Privacy Act that protects the personal information of an individual.
“Maaaring iyang sinabing data, ay maaring di cover ng data privacy… kaya’t naisapubliko (It’s possible the information posted are not covered by the Data Privacy Act, reason it was made public).”
Yebra said the LTO will provide information to those who request the names of the car owners and their license plate numbers as long as provisions of the Freedom of Information Act apply.
Asked why the information was published: “Di ko masasagot yan (I can’t answer that),” Yebra said.