Card shortage forces LTO to temporarily print driver’s license on paper

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 20) – Drivers renewing their license will soon be issued temporary permits on paper as the Land Transportation Office (LTO) runs out of plastic cards.

LTO chief Jay Tugade said the agency has over 140,000 cards in its inventory that will only last for the month.

“Forecast po ng LTO is completely mawawala, mauubos yung inventory on hand ng mga offices by the last week of April,” said Tugade in a press briefing.

[Translation: The LTO forecasts that the remaining inventory will run out by the last week of April.]

“Pag nag-renew po sila sa offices at wala na pong plastic cards don, bibigyan po sila ng printout ng OR (official receipt) po ng kanilang driver’s license, tas sa likod po non yung DL na should have been printed out for them,” he added.

[Translation: If they renew their licenses in our offices and there are no plastic cards available, they will be given a printout of their OR of their driver’s license and at the back, it will be the copy of their supposed plastic driver’s license card.]

Tugade said the printed official receipt has a QR code which can be authenticated by traffic enforcers.

He said the agency was ordered early this year to stop the supply purchase.

“As early as December, LTO was ready to procure, however, nung lumabas po yung SO (special order) nung January, (when the SO was issued last January) we were instructed basically to stop all procurement activities,” said Tugade.

Tugade was referring to a special order by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) issued on Jan. 25 which states that all procurement activities worth over ₱50 million must pass through the central office.

The DOTr said it is “currently working to be allowed” to purchase part of the total volume needed by the LTO pending the evaluation by the Bids and Awards Committee of the terms of reference (TOR) submitted in March.

The department said LTO failed to conduct early procurement.

“After a pre-bidding conference last April 12, 2023, attended by several market players, the DOTr BAC decided to assess the TOR to determine a more efficient, effective and economic option at procuring the license cards,” the DOTr said in a statement.

The LTO encountered a printing backlog last year due to defective laser engravers.