LTO eyes agency-to-agency deal as license cards run out by February

By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz

January 18, 2024, 9:02 pm

<p>LTO chief, Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza II <em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

LTO chief, Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza II (PNA file photo)

MANILA – The Land Transportation Office (LTO) is looking to government printing offices for the supply of plastic cards for driver’s licenses as these run out by the end of the month.

In a press conference at the LTO headquarters in Quezon City on Thursday, LTO chief, Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza II, said government printing agencies have already submitted their quotations for the supply of 6 million license cards, with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) now working on the processing and approval.

“This would be the fastest way and the most transparent and open to all. We're following it up so hopefully, we'll get those licenses out before February,” he said.

To date, Mendoza said there are around 270,000 license cards left in LTO offices nationwide.

“Normal monthly demand for driver's licenses is around 550,000 a month. So, 270,000 is good for around two weeks or half a month. Hanggang end of the month po yan unless mag-wind down (That’s only going to last until the end of the month unless it winds down),” he said.

If LTO fails to provide license cards, Mendoza said, expired driver’s licenses will automatically be extended until April 2024.

To avoid this scenario, he said, agency-to-agency procurement is one of the alternative modes of procurement under the Government Procurement Act and is the fastest way to procure more license cards in the near future.

“Kung titignan mo yung capability at readiness, parang mas ready yung government printing offices (If you look at capability and readiness, it seems government printing offices are the most prepared),” he added.

After forwarding the quotations to the DOTr, Mendoza said, the next steps for the procurement process are technical tests on the thickness, weight and quality of the plastic by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and whether the security codes on the cards are correct.

“These would also be checked as part of procedure, whether to approve or not approve the agency-to-agency contracts. Pricing is just one of the components of the entire contract deal,” he said.

In the meantime, Mendoza said the LTO is working on making sure the delivery of these license cards will reach LTO district offices in as little time as possible, as well as preparing licensing and registration caravans in barangays.

“Kasama na rin diyan yung ating mga outreach program. Wag na sila pumunta samin, kami na pupunta sa mga barangay (This includes the outreach program. They won’t have to come to us, we’re going to the barangays),” he said.

Currently, Mendoza said the 4 million license cards donated by the Philippine Society of Medicine for Drivers still cannot be used as they await the opinion of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) on its legality.

“Umaandar pa naman yan, pero kung sa karera kung ano mauuna, mukhang itong agency-to-agency-- in terms of delivering the cards (That’s still ongoing but if this was a race, looks like the agency-to-agency deal will be the fastest in terms of delivering the cards),” he said. (PNA)