Be it enacted by the Senate House of Representatives of Philippines in Congress assembled:
Section 1. Declaration of Policy. – It shall be the policy of the State to establish a system that promotes the ease of access to government services and efficient transportation regulation favorable to the people.
Section 2. Section 23 of Republic Act No. 4136, otherwise known as the “Land Transportation and Traffic Code”, as amended, is hereby further amended and read as follows:
“Sec. 23 Issuances of Driver’s License, Fees and Validity. – If, after such examination, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) Head or his/her deputies find that the applicant possesses the necessary qualification and profciency in the operation of motor vehicles, is able to read and write any of the official languages or a major dialect and knows how to read and interpret various traffic signs, signals and road markings, a professional or non-professional license may be issued to such applicant upon payment of the fee prescribed in accordance with law, and which shall not cost more than the government’s procurement expense, but prior to the issuance of said license, the applicant shall present himself/herself in person and have his/her photograph taken by the LTO. All drivers’ license issued shall be signed in the presence of LTO Head or his/her deputies and shall bear among others, the full name, date of birth, height, weight, sex, color of eyes, blood type, complete current address, biometrics, license number, and its date of issue and expiration.
“In the issuance of licenses, the LTO shall now use such process or adopt such measure as will prevent any alteration or falsification of a license or will enable the LTO to detect any unauthorized license. The LTO shall create an online process for the renewal of professional and nonprofessional licenses within one (1) year from the effectivity of this Act.
“Except for student permits, all drivers’ licenses shall be valid for five (5) years reckoned from the birthdate of the licensee, unless sooner revoked or suspended: Provided, however, That subject to Section 26 hereof, any holder of a professional or nonprofessional driver’s license who has not committed any violation of Republic Act No. 4136 and other traffice laws, rules and regulations during the five (5)-year period shall be entitled to a renewal of such license for ten (10) years, subject to the restrictions as may be imposed by the LTO.
“The local government units (LGUs), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) or other agencies lawfully issuing traffic violation to the LTO, which shall serve as the repository of all traffic violation records.”
Section 3. A new section is hereby added after Section 23 of the same Act and numbered as Section 23 of the same Act and numbered as Section 23-A, to read as follows:
“Sec. 23-A Establishment of Stricter Rules Before the Issuance of Driver’s License. – The LTO shall promulgate prerequisites and guidelines before the grant of drivers’ licenses to ensure that these are issued only to deserving applicants with sufficient driving skills and knowledge on road safety and proper road courtesy.
“Toward this end, the conduct of theoretical and practical examinations, among others, must sufficiently measure the competency of drivers and must be designed to the type of license applied for its corresponding restrictions: Provided, That for professional drivers, the tests must be appropriated to the vehicle and type of service the applicant intends to operate.”
Section 4. A new section is hereby added after the Section 23-A of the same Act and numbered as 23-B, to read as follows:
Sec. 23-B. Penalties. – Without prejudice to the penalties provided under the Revised Penal Code and other applicable laws, the penalties corresponding to the following acts shall be imposed by the appropriate agency or officer:
“(a) Any officer who, in any manner, issues a driver’s license without the necessary examinations, connives with the applicant for the irregular issuance of a license, or who, by gross negligence, issues a driver’s license to an unqualified applicant shall suffer a penalty of removal from the service with all the accessory penalties attached thereto;
“(b) A fine in the amount of Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) shall be imposed upon an applicasnt for a driver’s license found to have committed any of the following acts:
“(1) Willful misrepresentation with respect to material information in one’s application;
“(2) Connivance with the officer in the irregular conduct of examinations or issuance of license;
“(3) Falsification of documents; or
“(4) Cheating during examinations.
“Any or all of the acts abovementioned shall be punished whether or not a license was granted but reason of such misrepresentation, connivance, falsification or cheating.
“In addition to the abovementioned fine, the driver’s license of an erring applicant, if one is granted by reason of such misrepresentation, connivance, falsification or cheating , shall be revoked, and the applicant shall be prohibited from applying for a period of two(2) years. The repitition of such offense shall warrant the perpetual disqualification from being granted a drivers’s license in addition to the fine above-stated; and
“(c) A holder of a driver’s license who acts in violation of the provisions of Republic Act No. 4136 and other existing traffic laws shall suffer corresponding penalties as may be provided by law and other issuances.
“In case of death or physical injuries resulting in the loss of any part of the victim’s body or the use thereof, insanity, imbecility, impotence or blindness, or incapacity to work for more than ninety (90) days, the license of the offending driver shall be revoked for a period of four (4) years, after a finding by the court that such driver was negligent or at fault.
“The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the LTO shall, in coordination with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and other concerned agencies and private stakeholders, aggressively and regularly conduct a nationwide information, education ad communication (IEC) campaign on road safety, including the list of measures implemented pursuant to and violations punishable under this Act.”
Section 5. Review of Penalties. – The Secretary of the DOTr, upon the recommendation of the LTO, after due hearing and publication shall have the power to increase or adjust the fine herein imposed once every five (5) years: Provided, That in no case shall the increase be more than five (5%) of the fine sought to be increased.
Section 6. Research and Development. – The LTO shall conduct continuing research and development to ensure the efficient administration of the drivers’ licensing system.
Section 7. Implementing Rules and Regulations. – Within sixty (60) days from the effectivity of this Act, the Secretary of the DOTr, with the assistance of the LTO, the LTFRB, and the MMDA, shall promulgate the implementing rules and regulations necessary to ensure the effective implementation of this Act.
Section 8. Separability Clause. – If any provision or part hereof is held invalid or unconstitutional, the remainder of the law provisions not otherwise affected shall remain valid and subsisting.
Section 9. Repealing Clause. – All laws, decrees, executive orders, letters of instruction, rules and regulations, issuances or parts thereof inconsistent with this Act are hereby revoked, repealed, amended or modified accordingly.
Section 10. Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.
(Sgd.) PANTALEON ALVAREZ
Speaker of the House of Representatives
(Sgd.) AQUILINO “KOKO” PIMENTEL, III
President of the Senate
This Act which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 1449 and House Bill No. 5648 was finally passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on May 13, 2017.
(Sgd.) CESAR STRAIT PAREJA
Secretary General House of Representatives
(Sgd.) LUTGARDO B. BARBO
Secretary of the Senate
Approved: August 2, 2017
(Sgd.) RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE
President of the Philippines