MANILA— The House of Representatives on Monday night unanimously approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to extend the validity of drivers’ licenses from three years to five years.
With 221 votes on the affirmative, zero negative, and zero abstention, the lower chamber approved House Bill 5648, which seeks to strengthen the policy regarding driver’s license by providing for a five-year validity and penalizing acts in violation of its issuance and application.
The bill aims to ease congestion in the Land Transportation Office (LTO), therefore boosting the government’s anti-red tape campaign.
HB 5648 is aligned with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to expedite the processes to address and lessen irregularities still persisting during application or renewal of licenses at the LTO.
The bill also seeks to streamline government transactions and address public complaints regarding renewal of licenses such as shortages of plastic cards, and legal issues surrounding the cards’ procurement, among others.
The measure states that the conduct of theoretical and practical examinations on driving must sufficiently measure the competency of drivers and must be designed to the type of license applied for and its corresponding restrictions.
Furthermore, Professional drivers’ tests must be appropriate to the type of vehicle and type of service the applicant intends to operate.
Under the bill, a fine in the amount of PHP200,000 is imposed upon a driver’s license applicant found to have willful misrepresentation; connivance with the issuing officer; falsified documents; and cheated during the examination.