LTO rolls out drivers' licenses valid for 5 years
MANILA, Philippines – Filipino drivers can now apply for drivers' licenses with 5-year validity starting Tuesday, August 29.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) rolled out the driver's license cards at the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Quezon City.
On August 2, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 10930 extending the validity of the driver's license from 3 years to 5 years. The extension does not apply to student permits.
LTO said those who will apply for new cards or renew old ones at the National Capital Region office will get their licenses within the day.
Meanwhile, those who applied in October will get their cards starting next week, LTO chief Edgar Galvante said.
"For those who [applied] last October, we want to emphasize that they don't need to pay additional fees. Whatever [fee] that is indicated in the receipt, that's the only amount they have to pay," he said in Filipino.
In 2013, controversy hounded the production of driver's license cards handled by Amalgamated Motors Philippines Incorporated. The Commission on Audit found that there was no legal basis for the contractor to make the cards.
The controversy led to a shortage in driver's license cards. The LTO began addressing this in December 2016.
No more fixers?
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade led the rollout and tried the new system himself. According to him, the entire license application should take about 5 minutes.
LTO has been hounded by corruption allegations, particularly in the application of drivers' licenses. In a 2014/2015 survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations, the LTO was rated poor at -26 in its sincerity to fight corruption.
"Fixers are no longer needed to be issued a 5-year license card," Galvante said.
He also said the new plastic cards are laser engraved and made of polycarbonate material that have several security features.
Meanwhile, Tugade reminded LTO employees that the Duterte administration does not tolerate corruption within its ranks.
"Today, let's vow to couple this system and process with good service. Let's stop fixers. Let's stop corruption," Tugade said. – Rappler.com
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