Senate Bill 1449: Driver’s License Validity Extension
Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph G. Recto
Mr. President, distinguished colleagues:
This sponsorship speech on the bill extending the driver’s license validity from three years to five years and for its renewal extended to ten years, will be very brief as the bill is simple, straightforward and needs no elaborate explanation.
Its benefits, however, will be enjoyed by millions of Filipinos.
The advantage of having the validity of driver’s license extended is obvious from the drivers’ point of view. This means no more long queues at the Land Transportation Office of drivers seeking to apply for renewal of driver’s license. This will effectively reduce the long period of waiting for the LTO license card itself, and eliminates the need to pay alleged fixers to expedite processing of said license.
This is the best anti-red tape measure the government can adopt for LTO. It is not complicated and can derive results immediately at the least cost to the government and the public.
At this point, I wish to extend my gratitude to the Chairperson of the Committee, Senator Grace Poe for recognizing the merit and adopting my proposals on the bill as expressed during the Committee hearing.
I refer to the provision that the fees charged for the driver’s license should not be more than the government’s procurement cost.
The efficiency of the government procurement system can result in the reduction of the cost of the license cards so that this proposed measure limits the fees to be charged by the government to be not higher than the actual cost of procurement.
The government should not earn extra income out of the issuance of license cards. This is a service to the public, and not part of the revenue generation efforts of the government. Besides, the income is remitted to the National Treasury and is not retained by the LTO to augment its budget for operational requirements.
Hence, NEDA, the government agency mandated to approve fees and charges of government agencies should immediately adjust downward the approved fees for driver’s license whenever the actual cost based on the bidding process and award of contract turns out lower than the approved rates.
The Committee has also appreciated my suggestion to include an online application process for the renewal of driver’s licenses.
The availability of an online facility will definitely expedite the renewal of licenses at the least cost both to the LTO and the applicant. This will mean less human intervention on the licensing process and, thus, reduce corruption. The government saves also on paper and other operating costs.
The applicant will no longer need to queue at the LTO and saves him time and other personal expenses.
The time has come for a better system in driver’s licensing. This bill will respond to the problems of delays and costs in the present system. It is common sense and costs nothing.
On this note, I urge this august body to approve the bill.