(SPOT.ph) Applying for a new or renewal of your driver's license? Heads up: You may get a temporarily-issued driver's license printed on paper as the Land Transportation Office (LTO) said Thursday, April 20 that it's running out of plastic cards nationwide.
To date, its supply of 147,000 plastic cards nationwide can only last until the end of April, LTO Chief Jay Art Tugade said in a press briefing.
"Isa po sa na-discuss po ay 'yung temporary driver's license na ipaiiral po ng LTO dahil meron pong mga nagre-renew ng lisensya, may mga nag-apply ng lisensya na hindi po namin mabigyan sa ngayon ng plastic cards," he said.
"Ang ginagawa po namin ngayon sa LTO is we are continuously reallocating these cards para ma-address 'yung mga pangangailangan ng mga offices."
The temporary driver's licenses will have unique QR codes so enforcers on the road can validate that it's genuine, he said.
"Aside from that piece of paper, puwede po picturan 'yan. Puwede picturan tapos save n'yo po sa phone ninyo. 'Yung QR code po once you take a picture, puwede pa rin ma-activate, gagana pa rin po 'yung QR code."
What happens when applying for driver's licenses?
When you go to an LTO office, you may still get a driver's license printed on a plastic card but it depends on the supply.
"Doon po sa mga magre-renew, 'pag sila po nag-renew sa isang office at wala plastic card, bibigyan po sila ng printout ng OR (official receipt) po ng kanilang driver's license tapos sa likod po nun 'yung driver's license na should have been printed out on a plastic card for them," said Tugade.
"'Yun po muna ang panghahawakan muna ng driver habang wala pa po 'yung plastic card."
Supply may last until the end of April, according to LTO's forecast.
So why is there a plastic card supply issue? While the office planned to purchase supplies as early as November 15, 2022, it received an order from the Department of Transportation that all procurements worth P50 million and above will be procured directly by the central office, said Tugade.
"Kami po ngayon sa LTO we are equally as anxioius as everyone else sa pagdating ng plastic cards dahil kami po ready po kami, kayang-kaya po namin ma-print 'yung mga plastic cards basta ma-deliver lang po sa amin."
"We commisserate with the people dito po sa unfortunate predicament na ito pero once na ma-receive po namin 'yung plastic cards, 'pag na-procure na po ito ng DOTr, ready na po kami, kayang-kaya na po namin ma-print 'yan and ma-distribute sa respective license holders."
Asked for a statement, Tugade said: "Had we been allowed, if the procuremnt process stayed with the LTO, we would have plastic cards."