NEW OFFICE. The Land Transportation Office opens a new temporary office for its Abra district office at the compound of the Department of Public Works and Highways - Abra engineering office on Monday (Dec. 19, 2022). Abra residents no longer have to travel all the way to Candon City, Ilocos Sur to avail of LTO services after the current office at the capitol compound got affected by the development of offices at the provincial capital. (PNA photo by Liza T. Agoot)

BANGUED, Abra – The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has opened a new office that has a wider and bigger area for the clients.

Francis Rae Almora, regional director of the Department of Transportation in the Cordillera Administrative Region (DOTr-CAR) on Tuesday said "this will better serve the clients of Abra with more effective service."

Almora said the transfer of the LTO district office to the compound of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is an inter-agency effort.

"We thank the DPWH for allowing us in their compound although temporary," Almora said.

The LTO district office which was at the compound of the provincial government adjacent to the capitol building would be demolished to give way to a modern and bigger building of the provincial capital, which will also allow the local government to provide a more efficient service.

Almora said they hope to have a permanent home soon at the provincial government center that is currently being established.

Abra League of Municipalities president and former congressman Joseph Sto. Niño Bernos in a follow-up interview said "it is my moral responsibility to look for a temporary office because of the very important existence of an LTO office in Abra."

"I funded the building that caused their displacement and I cannot just leave them without a place in Abra," he added.

Bernos said that without an Abra office, the nearest LTO office is located in Candon, Ilocos Sur -- about an hour's drive and about two hours from the capital town in Abra if the client will commute via public transportation.

Abra has 27 municipalities most of which are far-flung and takes several hours to reach Bangued.

"LTO is a very important office of the national government, our people will be the ones to suffer if they move out because of the absence of a space for them," he added.

Bernos said that aside from hospitals, the LTO is the next government office frequented daily by clients.

The official also requested the DPWH to temporarily move their standby equipment to a depot in La Paz to free spaces for the LTO clients. (PNA)