MANILA - The Land Transportation Office (LTO) estimates that a new winning bidder for the production of license plates will be determined come August 2017.
Speaking to DZMM, LTO chief Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante said new license plates will be processed and distributed once a winning bidder is announced.
He estimates the agency has a backlog of 6 million license plates.
In June 2016, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order preventing the LTO and the Department of Transportation and Communication from releasing and distributing 700,000 license plates donated by the Bureau of Customs after the plates' supplier-importer failed to pay the required customs duties.
Galvante said the LTO does not know when the cases before the Supreme Court and the Commission on Audit would finally be resolved. He said the cases question the authority of the Customs bureau to release the plates.
"Kaya nag proceed na rin kami para mag procure. Sini-set aside na natin muna yung usapin sa Supreme Court at mag procure tayo ng bago," he said.
Meantime, the LTO chief is hopeful that the backlog of 3-million in driver’s license cards will be addressed by the second week of February.
"Simula bukas, maidadagdag na yung regions 1,2, 8 and 9. "We hope to complete the whole country by next week, yung matitirang regions 5, 6, 9, 10, CAR and CARAGA," he said.
The shortage of license cards began in 2013 when the Commission on Audit disallowed payments to former supplier, Amalgamated Motor Philippines Inc., for lack of a proper contract.
Galvante said the agency has yet to bid out the contract to print 5-year driver's licenses.
"Hopefully, makumpleto ang bidding nito at notice to proceed by second quarter mag start na tayong mag distribute nung 5-year license card," he said.