It’s sad but often true. When the term “Philippine government agency” is used, synonyms like “inefficient” and “corrupt” and “slow” are mentioned. Not my experience last Thursday morning during the renewal of my driver’s license at the SM City.

What an efficient system of the Land Transportation Office. (Three years back and having gone through the same noteworthy experience, I vowed, but failed, to write about my observations. So finally…)

I arrived early and was customer No. 7. Everything was methodical and organized. The front guard had the forms ready. The signages “Step 1, Step 2” etc. were visible. The staff were in a hurry (unlike other government agencies?). The physician in-charge of examination, Dr. Roy Abellana, was cordial and helpful. We even engaged in a chitchat, commenting that he knew my grandmother, Dr. Paulina “Bing” Pages.

The LTO office was clean, well-lighted, plus the location in SM is convenient. Technology was properly used: from the onsite card printer to the fingerprint scanner to several 32-inch LCD screens that showed children’s Christian movies. Best of all, the dreaded word “corruption” does not exist.

In all, from my arrival at 10:05 a.m. until I got my license, it took just 50 minutes. Amazing. (Here’s a tip: Line up early outside SM then, when the doors open, sprint to their office.) Kudos to the LTO.

John Pages

By John Pages

I've been a sports columnist since 1994. First, in The Freeman newspaper under "Tennis Is My Game." Then, starting in 2003, with Sun.Star Cebu under the name "Match Point." Happy reading!


  1. meron po ba talagang branch ng LTO sa SM cebu?
    if meron man po, well that would be great… thanks sa info !
    atleast pag meron man eh dun na lang ako,,,

  2. Are you sure that LTO 7 (SM Branch) doesn’t have fixers? The Doctor (Dr. Roy Abellana) itself is the fixer. He ask me 1k to make the transaction faster and hassle free.

    I agree that LTO sm branch is fast and hassle free, no fixers outside, Only inside.

  3. That Dr. Roy Abellana is one piece of work. Very rude and unprofessional. He humiliated my sister in law infront of all the people there without provocation whatsoever. And naging Public Servant ka pa.

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