MANILA — The shortage in the supply of plastic cards used for driver's licenses could have been prevented, the Land Transportation Office said Wednesday.
According to LTO chief Jay Art Tugade, they have been reminding transportation officials about the delay in the procurement of plastic cards.
He added they were just waiting for the Department of Transportation to finalize its purchase of plastic cards so they could stop issuing paper-based driver's licenses.
"Aside from the conversation that we had and the several meetings that we had and the several correspondences that we sent to DOTr, our request to maintain the procurement with LTO remained denied by the department," he told ANC's "Headstart".
"And so here we are now, the entity in charge of procuring the plastic cards for the licenses is now the Department of Transportation's central bids and awards committee.
"I assumed office in November 2022 and the existing officials right now of the DOTr were already the existing officials of the DOTr in mid-2022. Had they really wanted to conduct the early procurement activities, they were already the public officials at that time. They should have done so and not waited this long," Tugade added.
Drivers’ licenses in the country will be printed on paper, for now.
The LTO previously cited a thinning supply of plastic cards across their offices nationwide.
The agency has said its current stock of plastic cards, which is now only at 147,000, was expected to last until the end of the month.
Tugade earlier explained the low supply could also be attributed to an order barring the agency from engaging in any procurement that would exceed P50 million.