From lamination to framing: How some Pinoys are keeping their paper licenses safe

April 27, 2023 - 7:38 PM
A copy of an official receipt (OR) as a temporary driver's license from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) (LTOPhilippines/Facebook)

Photos of laminated driver’s licenses gained buzz on social media amid the shortage of plastic cards from the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

LTO has been issuing official receipts (OR) on paper as temporary driver’s licenses since last week. This move applies to motorists who are applying for the first time and those who are renewing their licenses.

According to the government agency, some of its offices were facing plastic supply shortage. Licenses and other similar documents are normally printed on these materials.

Citing recent data, as of April 20, LTO said that it only has a total of 147,522 plastic cards dedicated to printing driver’s licenses.

Paper ORs, however, are prone to creasing, crumpling and even getting lost.

Some Filipino motorists took a creative approach to keep their temporary licenses intact and secure in their paper forms.

A Facebook user named PJ Rosales uploaded a photo of his OR license that he got laminated.

Rosales’ laminated card can no longer fit inside the pockets of clothes.

“GAANO KALAKI LISENSYA MO?” he wrote in the post.

This post amused other Facebook users. It circulated across the platform and was even shared by some media outlets and other Facebook pages.

Video creator named Sniper Motoride also uploaded a photo of a paper-form license that was framed.

In the photo, the framed license included the bond paper where the OR was printed.

“New license. Only in the Philippines be proud of our country,” the post reads. The source of the image was not provided in the post.

This post also caught the attention of Facebook users. It soon reached the subreddit r/Philippines, a community that talked about topics related to the country.

“From temporary national id to temporary driver’s license… what the hell’s happening?” the Redditor said in the post.

From temporary national id to temporary driver’s license… what the hell’s happening?
by u/aftermatth321 in Philippines

To ensure validity of the paper licenses, regional and district offices of LTO were instructed to print the following on them:

  • Complete details of the driver
  • Unique QR Code
  • Screenshots of the front and back of the digital version of the driver’s license

Other criticisms 

Several users, meanwhile, cited poor planning, incompetence and corruption as among the possible reasons why LTO figured in this problem.

“Wala bang budget, ninakaw ang budget or hindi marunong mag-inventory and procure ng mga gamit?” a Twitter user said.

“That’s just poor planning from LTO. Why not do a proper forecasting sa usage and plan accordingly?” a Redditor said.

“Bureaucracy and communication problems (not being on the same page, hindi na naman nasama sa group chat, etc.),” another Filipino on Reddit said.

Some Twitter users suggested digitizing their licenses to save up both on paper and plastic cards.

“Can you please just allow people with digital phones to have it online? Para po makatipid kayo at hindi na kayo mahirapan sa pag-issue ng plastic cards,” a Twitter user said.

LTO Chief Jay Art Tugade said in a previous statement that traffic and law enforcers were notified about the paper ORs in case motorists are flagged for carrying these temporary documents.

“Nakipagpulong na rin ang LTO sa mga law enforcer tulad ng PNP Highway Patrol Group upang maipabatid sa kanila na kung manghuhuli ng mga lumalabag sa batas-trapiko ay tanggapin na rin kung OR lamang ang ipapakita ng motorista,” Tugade said.