Senate approves bill on 5-year validity of driver's license
MANILA, Philippines – The Senate on Monday, May 29, approved on third and final reading the bill extending the validity of driver’s license from 3 to 5 years.
Voting 21-0, the Senate passed Senate Bill 1449, which seeks to amend Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code. Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services, sponsored the measure.
A similar bill (House Bill 5648) was already passed in the House of Representatives. This means the Senate and the House are now set to convene a bicameral conference committee to finalize the measure.
The Senate committee conducted its one and only hearing on May 9, with no senator opposing it.
With the longer validity dates of licenses, Poe said the public would save more time and money,
“[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 earlier said.
According to the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the new licenses would have biometric features for added security measures, making it 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.
A law will institutionalize the change, regardless of who the president is.
LTO officials earlier said 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
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