The LTO’s problems with the supply of plastic cards used for Driver’s Licenses might end next month. According to reports, the DOTr assured lawmakers at a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee inquiry yesterday that it is already in the final stages of procuring at least 500,000 cards. The statement had come from DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista himself.
Plastic cards shortage caused 690,000 Driver’s License backlog for LTO
As we all well know, the plastic card shortage was reported towards the end of April this year. It was stated that a Special Order from the DOTr hampered the procurement that was requested as early as November 2022. Citing a difference in management style, former LTO Chief Atty. Jay Art Tugade has resigned since then, but at least there is a continuity to the procurement process he has left behind with the DOTr.
On its progress, Bautista said, “Right now, there’s an ongoing procurement. There is already the lowest bidder. We are just doing a post-qualification of the lowest calculated bid. f we will be able to finalize this, if we will qualify the lowest bidder, we should be able to get maybe 500,000 licenses in July.”
The DOTr had also bared that a backlog of 690,000 Driver’s Licenses exists, and though there still is a supply of about 70,000 plastic cards remaining, these have already been reserved for overseas Filipino workers. To address this shortage, the LTO, with the DOTr’s knowledge, extended the validity of Driver’s Licenses that were set to expire from April 24 onwards to October 31, 2023. This was to give more time for motorists to use their existing licenses, as well as for the replenishment of the plastic cards.
For now, those who were issued an Official Receipt complete with an official stamp may use the piece of paper as a valid, temporary Driver’s License in place of a physical card.
After the appointment of a new OIC of the LTO, we hope that both are now working smoothly with each other to address this major public concern, all for the benefit of the citizens. July is still a month away, and whatever supply they might acquire might only be enough to address a backlog and not sustain new issuances moving forward. But we hope that both the LTO and the DOTr are on top of things.
As they should be.