5-year driver's license bill now up for Duterte's signature
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Senate and the House of Representatives have approved the final version of the bill that seeks to extend the validity of driver’s licenses from 3 to 5 years.
A bicameral conference committee was held on Wednesday, May 31, where lawmakers reconciled differences between Senate Bill 1449 and House Bill 5648. Both chambers ratified the bicameral conference report same day.
The measure will now be forwarded to Malacañang for President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing into law.
If the bill is passed into law, all driver’s licenses – except student permits – would be valid for 5 years, unless sooner revoked or suspended.
Those who have no traffic violations during the 5-year period shall be entitled to a license renewal good for 10 years, “subject to the restrictions as may be imposed" by the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
The LTO, in an earlier Senate hearing, said there would be no additional costs for release of the new licenses.
Proponents of the measure say the measure will curb corruption in the agency. (READ: Corruption at LTO, LTFRB: Unfit drivers, vehicles on the road)
The measure also mandates the LTO to create an online process for the renewal of professional and non-professional licenses within 1 year from the law’s effectivity.
It also requires the agency to employ processes or measures that will prevent “any alteration or falsification of a license.”
The bill also imposes higher penalties for violators.
Any officer who issues a license without the necessary tests, who connives with the applicant for irregular issuance, or who, by gross negligence, issues a license to an unqualified applicant shall be removed from office.
An applicant will face a fine of P20,000 for the following acts:
- Willful misrepresentation with respect to material information in one’s application
- Connivance with the officer in the irregular conduct of examinations or issuance of license
- Falsification of documents
- Cheating during examinations.
The applicant’s license will also be revoked and he/she shall be prohibited from applying for 2 years. A repeat offender shall be perpetually disqualified from receiving a driver’s license.
As for road crashes, the offending driver’s license shall be revoked for 4 years, should there be a resulting death or physical injuries. – Rappler.com
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