LTO Aims to Clear Backlog of Driver's Licenses and Vehicle Plates by July 2024

The Philippines' Land Transportation Office aims to clear its backlog of driver's license cards and vehicle plates by July 1, 2024, with a secured supply of 9.7 million plastic cards. The agency is addressing its backlog despite concerns over its contract with German IT service provider Dermalog.

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LTO Aims to Clear Backlog of Driver's Licenses and Vehicle Plates by July 2024

LTO Aims to Clear Backlog of Driver's Licenses and Vehicle Plates by July 2024

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) in the Philippines has announced its goal to clear the backlog of plastic driver's license cards and vehicle plates by July 1, 2024. Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza, chief of the LTO, assured the public that the agency is on track to meet this target after securing a steady supply of 9.7 million plastic cards for driver's licenses.

Why this matters: The timely issuance of driver's licenses and vehicle plates is crucial for ensuring road safety and facilitating economic activity in the Philippines. A backlog in these essential documents can lead to inconvenience, lost productivity, and even compromise public safety.

In a recent meeting with President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., Mendoza confirmed that the LTO has sufficient supply of license cards and plates for this year. "Dahil nga dito by July 1 of this year, dapat wala na pong backlog... we can see, on track po tayo diyan" ("Because of this, there should be no more backlog by July 1 of this year... we can see, we're on track with this"), stated Mendoza.

The LTO had previously announced the resumption of releasing plastic card driver's licenses on April 15, 2024, following the Court of Appeals' lifting of the injunction order that prevented the agency from receiving plastic cards. The LTO is also addressing its backlog of 80,000 vehicle plates by producing one million license plates per month to meet the estimated demand of around 2,000 vehicles a day.

However, during a House Committee on Transportation meeting on May 13, 2024, it was revealed that the LTO lacks the capability to independently run the land transportation management system (LTMS) without the assistance of its German IT service provider, Dermalog. The LTMS processes the registration of millions of motor vehicles and driver's licenses in the country every year. "We cannot on our own run the system without the assistance of our IT service provider Dermalog," admitted Mendoza.

Concerns about the LTO's contract with Dermalog were raised in a 2023 Commission on Audit (COA) report. SAGIP Party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta suggested replacing Dermalog with the LTO's former IT service provider, Stradcom. However, Mendoza stated, "We will have to validate their capability to walk the talk."

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista has directed the LTO to ensure efficient service and avoid disruptions to the public. DOTr Undersecretary Reinier Paul Yebra emphasized, "This is a contract between LTO and its IT provider. As the mother agency and per the directive of Secretary Jaime Bautista, we want to ensure na wala pong disruption sa service sa publiko" ("that there is no disruption to public service").

Despite the challenges faced by the LTO, the agency remains committed to clearing the backlog of driver's license cards and vehicle plates by July 1, 2024. With a secured steady supply of 9.7 million plastic cards, the LTO is confident in meeting the demand and providing efficient service to the public.

Key Takeaways

  • LTO aims to clear backlog of driver's license cards and vehicle plates by July 1, 2024.
  • 9.7 million plastic cards secured to meet demand and ensure timely issuance.
  • LTO produces 1 million license plates per month to address 80,000-plate backlog.
  • LTO relies on German IT service provider Dermalog to run land transportation management system.
  • DOTr directs LTO to ensure efficient service and avoid disruptions to the public.