The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is currently finalizing the procurement of at least 500,000 driver’s license cards by July after the Land Transportation Office (LTO) ran out of plastic cards.

DOTr Secretary Jaime Baustista made the assurance to lawmakers during the public inquiry conducted by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on Thursday.

“Right now, there’s an ongoing procurement. There is already the lowest bidder. We are just doing a post-qualification of the lowest calculated bid,” Bautista told the committee. “If we will be able to finalize this, if we will qualify the lowest bidder, we should be able to get maybe 500,000 licenses in July.”

He admitted that the LTO currently has a backlog of 690,000 for the issuance of driver’s licenses.

About 70,000 plastic cards, he said, are available but these are reserved for overseas Filipino workers.

The validity of driver’s licenses that have expired starting April 24 has been extended by the LTO until Oct. 21.

The inquiry was launched in response to Senate Resolution 147 filed by Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III, urging the panel to look into the alleged undue payment given by the LTO to the joint venture of Dermalog Identification System, Holy Family Printing Corp., Microgenesis, and Verzontal Builders.

Senator Imee Marcos also filed Senate Resolution 348 directing the Blue Ribbon to investigate the alleged corruption involving the road transportation IT infrastructure Project of the LTO. (PNA)

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