When it was time to renew my auto registration last year in June, I took my car for its “Drug Test” (Smog Test) and it passed. I winced when they inserted the probe.
I next went to LTO (Land Transportation Office) and received my new Stickers. The following Sunday I had lunch and some cold SMB’s at a friend’s house, the next day I found that some vandal had destroyed my front LTO sticker on my tag (I should have had that tag protector installed). Foolishly I said, “No problem, I’ll just shoot over to the LTO and get a new one.” What the heck was I thinking? First, I was told about how serious this was.
“Did I know that someone could use that sticker, and that I would be the one to blame if bad things happened?” They explained. I was thinking, its only one sticker, if this nefarious person (not the word I used) did (if one could) place my sticker on his car, would the numbers match the other two stickers? Or would his tag number be the same as mine? But knowing where I was, and knowing whom I was dealing with, I kept my mouth shut.
The thing that makes me laugh is the people who place the stickers on the outside of their plastic tag protectors. Now, that you could steal, and place on a car with ease.
On my way to the Lawyers Office to procure my “Affidavit of Loss” letter” and spend the first of many Pesos! Five copies are required to satisfy the people at LTO. I return to the LTO, and am now informed I must take all this to the San Fernando, Pampanga LTO office, a one hour trip both ways, and give it to them. I informed the young man that just was not going to happen! “Sir, all our paperworks are sent there,” he informed me.
My question to him, “And just how does the paperworks get over there, Osmosis?” Could not the next time you send the paperworks to San Fernando, include mine in the heap? “Sir, transportation costs 300.00 Pesos!” He stated with a straight face. So I assume that all LTO paperworks stay in the office here in Olongapo City until a Kano pays for the trip? So I paid as it my right to do so.
Now for the best part, this is an excerpt from the “Affidavit of Loss Letter”, verbatim in classic local Lawyer speak!
“Unluckily for me, I discovered, to my aghast and consternation, that someone took the sticker offs my front tin plate of my car. I had no idea who took it, but I’m sure that it was taken for an evil purpose”
Remember I’m not the guy that composed the above!
While trying to keep a straight face at the local LTO office as they read the letter, I then spoke using the same verbiage noted above, which by the way, they seemed to understand, I paid the 300.00 Pesos and drove away. Was the problem solved? Yes, three weeks later I received all new stickers for the car and purchased a set of Plastic tag protectors. (I put the stickers on the tags (tin plate) not on the outside of the plastic.)
If you notice from the pictures, twice in my time here I was sans tag protection, lesson learned and I’ll never do it again. I promise!
If you can’t smile about it, head to the airport, we choose to live here, and it’s just the way it is!