Backlog hounds LTO; 80 license cards issued per day

CLARK FREEPORT – The Land Transportation Office 3 will start issuing drivers’ license cards to applicants starting September 7 (Thursday) but limited to only 80 plastic ID’s due to lack of printing machine, key official told reporters.

“The problem is, we only have one printer [for City of San Fernando] to accommodate more than 100 applicants a day,” said Roly Casilan, Chief of the Transportation and Regulation Division of LTO3 stationed in City of San Fernando.

Casilan said only four licensing centers in Central Luzon are equipped with printing machines, these include Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales. He said other provinces have yet to be issued of their equipment and hoping to get additional machines as the number of license applicants swells.

Casilan blamed the poor service and connectivity by telecommunication companies or telcos as the culprit behind the limited issuance of printing machines in other licensing centers. “Kapag mahina ang internet connection hindi malalagyan ng printing machine and licensing center.”

“Drivers’ license applicants starting Sept 7 onwards can secure their plastic ID cards shortly after the processing but those who applied in previous months will have to wait,” said Casilan adding that the problem is not being experience in Central Luzon but also in other regions including National Capital Region (NCR).

For now, Casilan said the LTO is confronted by the problem of backlog. The temporary solution to arrest the issue is to process the applications during Saturday. “Those licenses applied in previous months will not be accommodated on weekdays.”

“We’re obliged to open our licensing centers on Saturday as a solution to backlog issue,” Casilan said during September edition of the “Talk Widus”, a regular reporters’ forum hosted by Pampanga Press Club in cooperation with Widus Hotel and Casino.

Casilan said LTO3 has requested more printing machines to cover hundreds of thousands of drivers’ license (DL) applicants whose plastic ID cards has yet been issued.

“Ang inaalala namin dito kapag hindi nadagdagan ang printing machines, baka abutin tayo ng sampug taon sa backlog lamang,” Casilan stressed.

In region 3, Casilan said the province of Bulacan has the biggest number of DL applicants with more than 200 a day, followed by Pampanga – more than 100.

He said DL issued starting Thursday (Sept 7) has five years validity. It has additional security features such as fingerprints of the holder and blood type. It has also bar code which contains information of the owner.

“Maraming security feature aside from the material used being durable plastic, kahit ilagay sa wallet maupuan hindi basta-basta mababali or masisira,” Casilan explained.

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