Senate to approve 5-year validity of drivers' licenses by May – Poe
MANILA, Philippines – The bill seeking to extend the validity of driver’s licenses from 3 to 5 years has hurdled the committee level and is expected to be approved this month.
Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services, said this on Tuesday, May 9, after the first and only hearing on the proposal.
Poe is set to file the committee report soon, and is expecting a smooth legislative process, as there is no opposition to the measure.
“There is no opposition to proposals to extend the validity of drivers’ licenses. This committee, therefore, approves in principle measures seeking to amend Republic Act 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,” Poe said during the hearing.
“Referring it to the plenary is a foregone conclusion and its approval, I can say with certainty, is a done deal,” she added.
The House committee on transportation earlier approved in principle a similar measure.
Rollout by August
Poe said longer validity dates of licenses would save the public time.
“[This] will save all the drivers in this land millions of man-hours otherwise spent in queuing to get the permit to operate a motor vehicle,” she said.
The Land Transportation Office (LTO), for its part, said the new licenses would have biometric features for added security measures. This means it would be harder to fake licenses.
In 2016, the LTO issued Administrative Order 2016-034 in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for longer validity periods for drivers’ licenses and passports.
But Poe said a law is still needed to institutionalize the change, regardless of who the president is.
LTO officials told the Senate panel that the rollout of the new driver’s license is expected in August and with no additional costs.
Proponents of the measure said that the longer validity of licenses supports the government’s campaign against red tape and is seen to reduce irregularities during applications and renewals at the LTO. (READ: Corruption at LTO, LTFRB: Unfit drivers, vehicles on the road) – Rappler.com