The history of the Land Transportation Office can be traced back as early as motor vehicles were introduced in the Philippines. Regulation of land travel was first formalized with the enactment of Legislative Act no. 2159 in 1912, which created the Automobile Section under the Administrative Division of the Bureau of Public Works.
Many laws and regulations were enacted and promulgated which rationalized the evolution of the LTO with regards to its functions as well as to its name. It started with the Automobile Section which took charge of motor vehicles and drivers’ services. Then it was upgraded into the Automobile Division but later on renamed as the Division of Motor Vehicles. Eventually, it was further upgraded into Bureau category as the Motor Vehicle Office (MVO).
With the enactment of Republic Act No. 4136, otherwise known as the “Land Transportation and Traffic Code”, the Land Transportation Commission (LTC) was created and its regional offices were established in various parts of the country after the Liberation from Japanese Occupation. To bring the services to the Ilonggos, the LTC was opened first at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol but was later moved to Mabini Street. Later on, it was again transferred to Lapaz District due to the infamous fire of 1964 in Iloilo City. Later on, the Office was relocated in Tabuc Suba, Jaro, Iloilo City where it still is until now.
The Office was then placed under the umbrella of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) where it was renamed as the Bureau of Land Transportation (BLT). It was then merged with the Board of Transportation (BOT) and the new office was given the name of the Land Transportation Commission again, headed by a Chairman and assisted by 4 Commissioners.
Finally in 1987, with the new government, reorganization was made which separated the functions of LTC and created the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to perform functions such as registering motor vehicles, licensing of drivers and conductors and enforcing traffic rules and regulations and adjudicating apprehensions, and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory (LTFRB) to issue franchisefor public utility vehicles. MOTC was likewise renamed as Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).
LTO Region VI agencies were established across Western Visayas to extend the needed public service in the different provinces. Many district and extension offices were created but some were also dissolved due to various limitations, especially the lack of manpower. LTO Region VI has presently, Ten (10) District Offices, Four (4) Extension Offices, Two (2) Licensing Centers, Two (2) Drivers’ License Renewal Centers and a Regional Office to direct all the agencies in the Region.
In 1998, computerization was introduced to LTO in the country. But it was not until 2002 that the automation of services in LTO Region VI started to be implemented. However, due to various constraints, computerization of the different district and extension offices in Region VI took a relatively slow pace. Eventually, on December of 2010, LTO Guimaras Extension became the final office to become automated. Thus, making the whole LTO Region VI services fully computerized.
With its brilliant Directors and talented personnel, LTO Region VI progressed a lot and ultimately gained the honor of being the Most Outstanding Regional Office in 2010, 2011 and 2012 during the 99th, 100th and 101st LTO Foundation Celebrations, respectively; a Grand Slam achievement by no other LTO regional office.