The public may soon enjoy a reprieve from application fees and having to line up every three years to renew their drivers’ licenses, as a measure that seeks to extend the licenses’ validity to five years or even 10 years is awaiting the signature of the President.
Sen. Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public services and sponsor of the Senate version, said the measure—which was ratified by both chambers on May 31—was transmitted to Malacañang for President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval last July 11.
“Puputulin ng batas na ito ang red tape. Hindi na kailangang indahin ng mga kababayan natin ang pagpapabalik-balik sa LTO para mag-renew dahil mas mahaba na ang validity ng kanilang lisensya,” said Poe.
The enrolled bill will lapse into law even if the President fails to affix his signature after 30 days. Poe said her panel will work closely with the Department of Transportation and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in drafting the implementing rules and regulations, which shall be promulgated not later than 30 days from the legislation’s effectivity.
Poe explained, “May insentibo ang drivers natin na sumunod sa batas trapiko. Kapag wala silang paglabag, puwedeng maging hanggang sampung taon pa ang validity ng kanilang lisensya.”
For the initial license application, the motorist must apply in person at any LTO offices.
To make renewal of licenses convenient for drivers, the measure requires the LTO to create an online process within a year from the effectivity of the law.
To ensure that drivers are not unduly charged in securing licenses, Congress inserted a provision that the license fees shall not cost more than the government’s procurement expense. “Hindi dapat ito pagkakitaan,” Poe said.
A fine of P20,000 shall be imposed against applicants for willful misrepresentation, connivance with an officer, falsification of documents and cheating during examinations, and they shall be prohibited from applying for a period of two years.
“Dahil nagbibigay tayo ng kaluwagan, kailangan rin natin ng regulasyon para tiyaking hindi ito maaabuso. Mahal ang multa para sa mga magsisinungaling, mandadaya, at mamemeke sa aplikasyon ng lisensya sa ilalim ng batas na ito,” Poe warned.
A license will be revoked for four years if the driver is involved in death or physical injuries resulting in the loss of any part of a victim’s body, insanity, imbecility, impotence, blindness or incapacity to work.
Local government units, the Metro Manila Development Authority and other agencies issuing traffic violation receipts are required to report the details of the traffic violation within a reasonable time to the LTO.
The measure—authored in the Senate by Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto and Senators Richard Gordon, Joseph Victor Ejercito and Joel Villanueva—seeks to amend Section 23 of Republic Act No. 4136, as amended by Batas Pambansa Blg. 398 and Executive Order No. 1011 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.
Poe said, “Matagal nang nananawagan ang mga kababayan natin na habaan ang validity ng driver’s license. Magiging patunay ang pagsasabatas ng panukala natin na nakikinig ang gobyerno.” | Office of Sen. Grace Poe