Amid shortage of driver’s licenses, LTO warns vs fixers
In view of the ongoing shortage of driver’s licenses, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has urged the public not to turn to fixers or counterfeiters.
It issued the appeal after motoring magazine Top Gear Philippines reported on Thursday a Facebook post offering “legitimate” professional driver’s licenses—allegedly issued by the LTO central office and complete with receipts—for P1,500. It was posted by a Facebook user using the name “Trendisitas Trendsandmore.”
In a phone interview, LTO spokesman Jason Salvador denied that the LTO was selling driver’s licenses online.
“We will instruct our people in that region (Iloilo) to look into it. We do not tolerate this and we are investigating it. We are pleading [with] the public that if you know anything about this, don’t tolerate it. Report to us directly so we can investigate it,” Salvador said.
He warned those using fake driving licenses that they would easily be caught. “We have several security features [on the cards]. We can’t reveal all but we have the regular ones such as watermarks and the colors used. The final check is that the [license] should be in our data base,” he added.
Salvador said that driving without a valid license could merit a P3,000 fine and a yearlong suspension of one’s license, aside from possible criminal charges.
At the same time, he assured the public that the bidding process was already underway for a new supplier for driver’s licenses.
Salvador said that as of May 20, the bidding process was already in the “post-qualification stage” with four companies, including the LTO’s former supplier Amalgamated Motors Philippines Inc. (AMPI), among the participants.
Salvador admitted that the shortage has been going on for years as “our supplier, AMPI, was affected by the port congestion in Manila.”
He added that in 2014, the Commission on Audit also issued a disallowance order against the LTO agreement with AMPI since it did not have a valid contract.
While the bidding process is underway, the LTO has been issuing temporary driver’s licenses valid for 150 days. In March, the LTO lifted the 150-day validity period due to the continued shortage.
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