Interconnectivity fees paid by insurance firms
THIS IS to enlighten the public from the deliberately misleading letter (“So who’s paying for LTO ‘computer fees’?” Inquirer, 3/18/11) of a certain William Obrero Jr. of a group that calls itself Road Users Protection Advocates. <br />
In the letter, Obrero stated: “I wish to point out the outright lies that Stradcom’s spokeswoman said in a recent press statement … that Stradcom does not collect interconnectivity fees from the transacting public but instead bills the private companies that need the ‘interconnectivity’ with the Land Transportation Office’s database.” He then confuses the public by saying, “if somebody transacting business at the LTO has to pay computer fees, then that means paying Stradcom for the computer fees.”<br />
For the sake of clarifying the matter to the riding public (which does not deserve to be misled by wrong information), I cannot leave unanswered Obrero’s ignorance or, worse, malice in deliberately misinforming Inquirer readers. The “computer fees” that the LTO charges the public, which is indicated in the receipt, are not for interconnectivity. This is for registration—driver’s license application/renewal and motor vehicle registration. Interconnectivity does not refer to registration. It is a completely distinct affair. <br />
As the term “interconnectivity” implies, its purpose is to connect to the LTO database the various offices/companies whose transactions relate to the LTO, such as but not limited to insurance companies. When the LTO noticed that the public was at risk from fixers working with insurance companies that would sell one insurance policy to two or more unsuspecting registrants (who would consequently be unable to claim insurance after any one of the other purchasers had already made a claim), the LTO sought help of Stradcom to create an IT system to prevent this kind of fraud. Stradcom then created an interconnectivity system which now allows the LTO to match every car registrant to his corresponding insurance policy, which is automatically reflected in the database, thus eliminating fraud and corruption that had previously existed with the manual system. Stradcom does not charge the public for this interconnectivity fee. It is the insurance company that is required to pay for the interconnectivity fees, as part of their business, and not the public. <br />
Obrero, in his careless arrogance or ignorance or deliberate attempt to sow confusion, has caused the public undue consternation. I hope that next time, he makes an effort at reading, understanding and exercising prudence before he attacks anyone. <br />
—MARGAUX SALCEDO,<br />
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