Good news for drivers waiting for their 5-year license: LTO announced that the backlog of driver’s license cards with 3-year expiration dates have finally been fixed, and the 5-year licenses may soon be released in the coming months.
The remaining backlog of 3 million 3-year license cards were released starting December 2016, and was finished last February 2017. However, LTO had to tie up some loose ends in their records, so they had to extend it to June 2017.
Those with 5-year expiration dates may also receive their plastic cards starting August this year.
“We are now processing those (companies) which have qualified in our bidding and we’re about to award the license cards. We hope to start delivering the license cards by August,” says LTO chief Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante.
Backlog of Driver’s Licenses due to legal problems
The “backlog” problem started in 2013, when the Commission on Audit (COA) stopped LTO from paying Amalgamated Motors Philippines Inc. for insufficient proper contract. LTO XI Regional Director Gomer J. Dy said that the company wasn’t able to keep up with the number of applications LTO received daily.
In 2015, LTO signed a P336.8 million deal with Allcard Plastics Philippines to supply plastic cards for LTO, but the Regional Trial Court enforced a Temporary Restraining Order against them for not following the correct bidding procedures.
According to Christopher John Cueto, LTO-Lucena’s licensing chief, one of the main reasons why the processing of license cards got delayed was due to the change of LTO suppliers. The restraining order slowed down operations, and also limited the number of PVC cards they could use to print the licenses.
In the past, LTO offices only received around 10,000 PVC cards instead of the 36,000 units they expected. Limited PVC cards prompted them to prioritize printing driver’s licenses on the same day they’re claimed in person. This was to avoid wasting cards that were left unclaimed by drivers.
NCR Region the first to receive the 5-year Driver’s License cards
Now that the 3-year license backlog has finally been solved, the focus has now shifted to issuing license cards with 5-year expiration dates to their owners. According to Galvante, the NCR region will be the first one to receive these driver’s licenses, since it’s where the demand is at its peak.
Presently, there are around 200,000 5-year driver’s licenses that are set to be released in the NCR Region alone.
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