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700,000 Metro drivers to receive new licenses

The Land Transportation Office will start distributing new driver’s licenses in Metro Manila tomorrow.

The LTO yesterday announced that 700,000 drivers from the National Capital Region will receive their plastic cards starting tomorrow.

LTO chief Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante said the release of the driver’s licenses is “an early Christmas gift to the public” amid the shortage confronted by the agency.

Galvante said that applicants from January to October 16, 2016 in 36 LTO licensing offices in Metro Manila will receive their licenses.

These, Galvante said, are only good for three years as only those who applied starting October 17 will have those good for five years.

The LTO chief said applicants can claim their driver’s license from the licensing office where they applied and reminded the public that no fees shall be collected from them.

“I would like to caution all the claimants, that they need not pay a single centavo to claim their driver’s license since they already paid for it, all they have to do is show to our personnel at the claims counter their official receipt,” Galvante said.

The LTO said backlogs in the driver’s licenses have reached three million and 700,000 are from Metro Manila.

The shortage in driver’s licenses started when a Manila trial court in October 2015 stopped the LTO’s P336.8-million deal with Allcard Plastics Philippines Inc. due to alleged irregularities.

Galvante last month said that the lack of plastic cards will be addressed by the second quarter of 2017.

According to Romeo Vera Cruz, LTO executive director, the court disputes regarding the driver’s licenses “have already been resolved” as far as last May this year.

Vera Cruz said Allcard has completed of the five-million plastic card supply this year as agreed upon in their contract. While the deal expired this year, Vera Cruz said they have procured another three million cards from Allcard which the company committed to deliver from December 15, 2016 to February 2, 2017.

“It is worth P186 million. This is an alternative mode of procurement, similar to emergency procurement,” Vera Cruz said. (Vanne Elaine P. Terrazola)