A measure seeking to extend the validity of driver’s licenses from the current three years to five years is inching closer to approval after Sen. Grace Poe sponsored the bill in plenary on Monday.\
“Extending the validity of a driver’s license is a commonsensical idea that should have been done a long time ago. Hindi lang makakaiwas sa trapik at sa pagpila ng mahaba ang ating mga kababayan na nangangailangang magrenew, pero nakakaiwas din sila sa red tape sa gobyerno,” said Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public services and sponsor of Senate Bill No. 1449.
The measure 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. The proposal is a substitute of Senate Bill Nos. 271, 941 and 1224 filed separately by Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto, Senators Richard Gordon, Joseph Victor Ejercito and Joel Villanueva.
Poe said she hopes that her colleagues will see to the immediate passage of this bill, “which will save all the drivers in this land millions of man-hours otherwise spent in queuing to get the permit to operate a motor vehicle.”
Although the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has already issued Administrative Order No. 2016-34 in line with the President’s pronouncements to extend the validity of driver’s licenses, an agency issuance cannot amend a law.
“What Congress prescribes, only Congress can amend. Thus, while we commend the Executive branch for initiating the steps that will pilot the issuance of a five-year license, it is my position that passing this bill into law is definitely needed,” the lady senator added.
Once passed into law, the validity of a driver’s license will not just be extended from three years to five years, but those without infractions during those five years may also be granted a 10-year license.
The bill also provides for an online application process for the renewal of professional and non-professional licenses.
Local government units, the Metro Manila Development Authority and other agencies issuing traffic violation receipts shall report within 24 hours the details of the traffic violation of the driver to the LTO, which shall be the repository of all traffic violation records.
In 2016 alone, there were 5.8 million people who applied for a driver’s license. #