Poe panel OKs 5-year validity period of driver’s license
After just one hearing on Tuesday, the Senate committee on public services chaired by Senator Grace Poe approved a measure extending the validity of all drivers’ licenses from three years to five years.
“There is no opposition to proposals to lengthen the validity of driver’s licenses,” Poe said as she closed the hearing of her committee.
“This committee, therefore, approves in principle measures seeking to amend Republic Act No. 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, as amended by Batas Pambansa Bilang 398, extending the validity of all driver’s licenses to five years. Our committee shall now be working on a final and consolidated version of the bill and present it to the plenary soon,” she said.
Poe said the committee will now draft a report and once it gets the signatures of the majority of the members, the report will be transmitted to the plenary for deliberations.
She said she hopes the Senate would approve the measure before Congress adjourns the first regular session of the 17th Congress on June 2.
“Wala na tayong hearing, committee report tapos papipirmahan na natin ‘yun para mapasa na ito. Sana bago mag-adjourn na itong May na ito,” the senator told reporters after the hearing.
The proposal extending the validity period of the driver’s license was contained in three bills filed separately by Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto and Senators Richard Gordon and Joseph Victor Ejercito.
During the hearing, Land Transportation Office (LTO) Executive Director Romeo Vera-Cruz told the committee that the agency has already started issuing a five-year validity driver’s licenses “but without card.”
Cruz said the target issuance of the license cards would be in August this year.
“Our target is August,” he said, responding to Poe’s query. The lady senator said the agency was allotted P526 million for the driver’s license.
Cruz said the new card has significant security features that was “much better than the current three-year cards.
“Cards will no longer be printed. It will be engraved,” Poe said in her closing remark.
“The LTO purchased the equipment and will produce the cards from now on and they will only buy supplies. Eventually, LTO plans to bid out the supplies needed to produce driver’s licenses. Not from now on but then eventually after they deliver on the contract,” she said.
The new driver’s licenses, Poe said, will feature a hologram mark and “hidden” data.
“Traffic violations will be uploaded on the system and the barcodes in the license will reflect the changes immediately,” she said. JE/rga
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