LTO running out of driver’s license cards, again

LTO running out of driver’s license cards, again

By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 05:38 AM January 19, 2024

The government is looking into the agency-to-agency way of procuring plastic cards for driver’s licenses, said Land Transportation Office (LTO) Assistant Secretary Atty. Vigor Mendoza II on Thursday.

An LTO employee shows some driver’s licenses that have yet to be distributed. (File Photo of the INQUIRER / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA)

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) is scrambling to find sources for driver’s license plastic cards as its supply is in a “state of emergency” and will be depleted in about two weeks.

LTO chief Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza II said they were hoping that an “agency-to-agency” procurement of plastic cards would solve the problem, as the agency could still not use the 4 million plastic cards donated by a private group in December last year.


At a press briefing on Thursday, Mendoza said the LTO needed at least 6.5 million plastic cards for the regular demand in 2024 and another 2.6 million to address the backlog from the previous year.


READ: No more paper driver’s license in 2024 – LTO

As of Thursday, the LTO has only 270,000 remaining plastic cards in its district offices, which Mendoza projected would last until the end of the month.

To address the shortage of plastic cards, the LTO has extended the validity of driver’s licenses expiring in November and December 2023 and January 2024 to April this year.

“We have many options that we are exploring, but perhaps the most advanced, prominent, and transparent process would be an agency-to-agency acquisition of driver’s licenses. I think this is the fastest way to get the driver’s licenses before February, at the latest,” he said.

The LTO has already requested quotations from the three government printers—the National Printing Office, Apo Production Unit, and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

The quotations were already forwarded to the LTO’s parent agency, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), which would decide on which agency it would proceed with the procurement.

“If we look at the capability and readiness in terms of the delivery of the plastic license cards, our government printing offices are more ready [than private firms],” he noted.


Delayed donation

Last month, the LTO promised that the agency would no longer issue temporary paper driver’s licenses to motorists after securing 4 million plastic cards.

On Dec. 18, 2023, Mendoza agreed with the Philippine Society of Medicine for Drivers, an association of medical clinics accredited by the LTO, for the “unconditional donation” of 4 million pieces of plastic cards, which would be used in the printing of driver’s licenses.

The first batch of plastic cards was scheduled to be delivered this month. Under the agreement, 300,000 plastic cards will be given every 15 days after the first delivery is completed, and 100,000 pieces for the last delivery to complete the 4 million pieces of plastic cards.

However, Mendoza said the donation was still being reviewed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to ensure that it followed existing laws.

He could not give a timeline on when the OSG would be able to release its legal opinion on the donation agreement.

But should it get the go-ahead from the OSG, the donation would also need to be inspected by the House committee on transportation, and by the Department of Science and Technology.

Big gov’t savings

“It takes some time because it’s a new process, new procedure. This is the first time plastic cards are donated to the LTO,” Mendoza explained. “The DOTr just wanted to be careful that [the donation agreement has] no hanky-panky or side deals.”

Mendoza said the donated plastic cards would mean P2 billion in savings for the government.

“It just so happened that at the time [the donation] was offered to us, it was an alternative available to us at the quickest possible time. At the end of the day, what we were aiming for was to bring the services down to the people at the quickest possible time and in the most transparent manner,” he added.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

LTO’s 2.6 million backlog of undelivered driver’s licenses arose after a Quezon City Regional Trial Court issued a writ of preliminary injunction against Banner Plasticard Inc. in October last year, which won the bidding to supply 5.2 million plastic cards.

TAGS: driver's license, LTO

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.