Victory! LTO given authority to use Driver’s License plastic card delivery from supplier

The LTO can finally go to work using the plastic cards from Banner Plasticard, Inc. We can remember that a Writ of Preliminary Injunction was issued halting the delivery of more cards from the said supplier. This followed the complaint of another bidder citing “anomalies” in the winning of Banner Plasticard, but this is all behind us and the Land Transportation Office now as the Court of Appeals has lifted the injunction.

LTO can now resume printing plastic card Driver’s Licenses

Lto Driver's License Injunction Lifted Plastic Card Inline 04 Min

Photo: Land Transportation Office

It was in October last year that the Writ of Preliminary Injunction was issued. We can remember that Allcard, Inc. asked for a Temporary Restraining Order to be issued against deliveries and use of plastic cards from Banner Plasticard, Inc. because of the allegations from the former about the latter’s “anomalous” win in the bidding process. This brought about the depletion of whatever plastic cards the LTO had in stock for printing Driver’s Licenses, and when it was all spent, the public was again issued with paper-printed licenses.

In an announcement made yesterday, the Land Transportation Office declared “A victory for the Filipino people” after the Court of Appeals lifted the injunction.

Lto Driver's License Injunction Lifted Plastic Card Inline 03 Min

Photo: Land Transportation Office

“We admire and respect the wisdom of the justices of the Court of Appeals in their decision to lift the writ of preliminary injunction,” said Assistant Secretary Atty. Vigor D. Mendoza II, Land Transportation Office Chief.

“Even before, we have been arguing that public interest must always prevail over business interest and in this case, the CA clearly saw the soundness and validity of the arguments we presented through the Office of the Solicitor General,” he added.

The Chief also said that his agency will come up with a new schedule for the release of plastic card-printed driver’s licenses and that he has already tasked some LTO officials to coordinate with Banner Plastics Card, Inc. for the immediate delivery of the plastic cards.

Lto Driver's License Injunction Lifted Plastic Card Inline 01 Min

Photo: Land Transportation Office

At the time of the issuance of the Injunction, nearly 2 million blank plastic cards have already been delivered to the LTO. Such is the mountainous backlog of Driver’s Licenses that whatever supply the agency had in stock was all used in no time. The Injunction did not help since the supply could not be replenished, so the public returned to paper-printed licenses.

As it stands, the backlog is already at 4.1 million before this month’s end, but ASec. Mendoza expressed his confidence that the backlog on plastic cards for driver’s licenses will be addressed as early as the second half of 2024. This should be helped along by the immediate bidding process for the procurement of over 6 million plastic cards under the General Appropriations Act initiated by Department of Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista.

The LTO can issue 550,000 plastic card-printed Driver’s Licenses. If the machines hold up and the steady supply of plastic cards keeps coming, there might be some real hope that we will all get proper Driver’s Licenses sooner rather than later.

Mikko Juangco
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