LTO bares driver’s license extension plans amid TRO
MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has assured the public it they will implement smooth extension procedures for expiring driver’s licenses and added that it is optimistic that the temporary restraining order (TRO) against the delivery of plastic cards will be lifted.
During the deliberations of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) budget at the House Committee on Appropriations on Monday, LTO chief and Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza II explained that the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 215 is set to rule on the issue by Wednesday.
According to Mendoza, who responded to questions from BH party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera, they are prepared to place measures if the court issues a permanent injunction.
“We hope the TRO will be lifted this Wednesday. The 20-day period would expire this Wednesday, but if it is not lifted and if the injunction proceeds, then we will be constrained to extend the licenses of our motorists,” Mendoza said in English and Filipino.
“So, do we have no other option that we can do as of now so that our fellow Filipinos have their licenses?” Herrera asked.
Electronic licensing, stamps
“We are now coming up with alternative plans, including the electronic licensing, but we are very confident that the TRO would not progress. But we are now putting in place the electronic licensing, and of course, the easiest remedy would be to extend the licenses’ validity, because not everybody yet has the electronic licensing,” Mendoza replied.
The LTO head also said that they could just put stamps on the back of driver’s licenses’ official receipts to indicate that these have been extended.
When Agri party-list Rep. Wilbert Lee doubled down on Herrera’s question, Mendoza said that the extension of driver’s licenses’ validity would last until October as of now, with motorists not needing to pay for extension fees.
Last August 15, the said Quezon City court issued the TRO, acting upon a petition filed by AllCard Inc. — a plastic card company that lost in the bidding for LTO’s license cards.
According to AllCard Inc., DOTr’s Centralized Bids and Awards Committee committed grave abuse of discretion by disqualifying them after the LTO supposedly wrongfully accused them of having delays in its ongoing projects with other government agencies like the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Social Security System.
The firm also claimed that it had the lowest bid of P176,853,600, lower than the P240.12 million set aside for the plastic cards.