Poe: New laws on additional LTO offices to shorten lines

WITH the passage of six new laws creating more district offices and licensing centers for the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Senator Grace Poe expressed hope that the agency will serve more applicants.

Poe, as chair of the Senate Public Service Committee and sponsor of a number of bills seeking to create more LTO offices, shepherded their passage, with six measures now enacted into law.

Six Poe-sponsored LTO measures have been enacted into law converting licensing centers into regular offices or establishing new ones: Republic Act 11068 (San Pablo, Laguna), RA 11067 (Balayan, Batangas), RA 11066 (Batangas City), RA 11065 (Kawit, Cavite), RA 11063 (Malabon City) and RA 11062 (Muntinlupa City).

“Hindi na kailangang bumiyahe nang malayo ang ating mga kababayan para lamang kumuha ng driver’s license o mag-renew ng lisensya nila. Less hassle na rin para sa kanila dahil mas iikli na ang pila at bibilis na ang transaksyon sa LTO,” said Poe, chair of the Senate Public Services Committee.

But Poe, citing reports she received about the struggles of driver’s license applicants regarding long queues in various LTO offices nationwide, asserted that there should be no “limited slots only” for fresh and renewal of license applicants.

“We are urging the LTO to streamline their process and accommodate more applicants for smoother and faster transactions. Hindi na puwede ang limited slots only,” Poe added.

Previously, measures establishing new or converting LTO extension offices have been approved on third and final reading in the Senate include San Pablo, Laguna; Balayan, Batangas; Malabon; Batangas City; Muntinlupa City; Kawit, Cavite; Medellin and Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu; Ticao Island, Masbate, Narra and Brooke’s Point, Palawan; Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur; Sipalay City, Negros Occidental; Valencia City, Bukidnon; and Panabo City, Davao del Norte.

In sum, 26 bills seeking to expand smaller LTO licensing centers into regular district offices and establish additional licensing offices in the country have been approved.

Eight measures have recently been approved on third and final reading in the Senate and needed the President’s signature to become laws.

Poe was also the main author of Republic Act 10930 which extended the validity of driver's licenses to five years and further renewable for 10 years if the license holder has not committed any violation.