We have a winner! LTO finds plastic card supplier, to supply massive total of 5.2M cards

The LTO’s problem of dwindling plastic card supplies for Driver’s Licenses made headlines nationwide. Red tape or differences in leadership styles to special orders and procedures were all cited as contributory factors, but at least there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel. Earlier this week, the Land Transportation Office announced that the Department of Transportation has awarded a contract for 5.2M plastic cards to the winning bidder, Banner Plasticard Inc.

DOTr grants contract to new LTO plastic card supplier

Dotr 500000 Driver's License Cards July 2023 Main 00 Min

Photo: Isabela PIO/DOTr

Earlier this month, the LTO admitted having a backlog of about 690,000 Driver’s License cards. They have also committed to procuring at least 500,000 blank cards for printing by July. As it stands, that may actually happen. Banner Plasticard Inc., previously the supplier for the MRT’s cards, was awarded the contract to supply blank license cards just two days ago. The plan is to deliver 500K within the next 30-60 days, or 1M cards in the next 60 days, with succeeding deliveries to eliminate the backlog with cards to spare.

Lto Driver's License Backlog Main 00 Min

Photo: LTO

The distribution of the printed plastic Driver’s License cards will have new applicants and OFWs as the priority. NCR will have a big chunk of the incoming supply with Cebu having the second-highest number of cards to take. Given that, those waiting for an actual card – motorists who already renewed but were issued temporary paper licenses or those who might plan to renew in the near future – will likely have to wait a little longer for their printed card. LTO Chief Hector Villacorta expects that the supply of plastic cards will “normalize” in the next 3 to 4 months.

Lto Driver's License Defective Laser Engravers Main 00 Min

The DOTr maintains that the contract was awarded to Banner Plasticard Inc. with no specific favor or bias. Following insinuations that the Department of Transportation was favoring a certain company to be made a supplier, Transportation Undersecretary for Administration and Finance Kim De Leon cleared that proper steps and rules were followed under the Procurement Law and that Banner Plasticard Inc. meets specific criteria and “capabilities” to ultimately win the contract.

All that said, the LTO still has a huge problem to address. Until such time that the cards arrive and actual printing and distribution commences and is not followed by problems or complaints, that is when the public can probably rest easy that a long-standing problem and the agency’s “reputation” are finally being… fixed.

Good news? Yes, we’ll take it.

Mikko Juangco
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