Press Release
May 9, 2017

On proposals to extend the validity of driver's license to 5 years

In today's hearing of the Senate committee on public services, we discussed Senate Bill Nos. 271, 941 and 1224 filed separately by Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto and Senators Richard Gordon and Joseph Victor Ejercito calling for the extension of the validity of all non-professional and professional driver's licenses from the current three years to five years.

Under Section 23 of Republic Act No. 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, as amended by Batas Pambansa Bilang 398, all driver's licenses shall be valid for three consecutive years reckoned from the birth date of the licensee, except for student permits and new licenses.

To summarize this public hearing:

The contract for the five-year license validity has been awarded already to a Filipino-German joint venture to address the backlog on the issuance of driver's licenses. The LTO assured that license cards will be issued in August. Around P526 million was included in the agency's budget for the driver's license.

We suggested that the LTO place more biometric scanners in more populated LTO offices to cut long queues.

In 2016, there were 5.8 million driver's license applications.

Sa 5 million licenses times P800, mga 4 billion ang kinikita ng LTO.

Cards will no longer be printed. It will be engraved. LTO purchased the equipment and will produce the cards from now on and they will only buy supplies. Eventually, LTO plans to bid out the supplies needed to produce driver's licenses. Not from now on but then eventually after they deliver on the contract.

The new driver's licenses will feature a hologram mark and "hidden" data. Traffic violations will be uploaded on the system and the barcodes in the license will reflect the changes immediately.

According to LTO, the cost of production of one license is P389. Driver's license applicants, however, currently pay P820 for new license applications and P652.63 for license renewal.

The Senate President Pro-Tempore, one of the authors of the measures, pointed out two computer fees for new license applications. This should be checked by the LTO. LTO cannot recover more than the cost of production, as this is merely a fee.

LTO is now in the process of revising the examination questions for license applications, especially for professional drivers, to ensure that qualified and disciplined drivers are allowed to drive.

This committee requests the DOTr and the LTO to submit necessary documents related to the following:

Capitalization and profile of the German firm and their Filipino counterpart which won the bidding for the new license plates, and list of fees included in the driver's license and the reason for their inclusion

We will have a separate hearing for the issues of the LTFRB and the driver's academy as pointed out by Mr. San Mateo and also we would like to get, at another time, an update on the license plates. For those that have already paid will they have to pay later on? And the money that they paid for those, are these placed in escrow?

So in the next hearing, I want an update on those undelivered license plates because of all of the court cases that's not part of our hearing today so I would like you to prepare for that.

We would like to thank our resource persons present here today.

There is no opposition to proposals to lengthen the validity of driver's licenses. This committee, therefore, approves in principle measures seeking to amend Republic Act No. 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. Our committee shall now be working on a final and consolidated version of the bill and present it to the plenary soon.

This public hearing is hereby adjourned.

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