The Department of Transportation and Communications is looking into the unauthorized redesign of LTO-issued driver's license cards by their contractor.

The new look was designed by Amalgamated Motors Philippines, Inc. (AMPI) and supposedly incorporates more security marks and features on the card. The new card also had a new lamination process that adds another minute to the production time; not significant for a single card, but over the course of the 300 or more cards that a typical LTO office issues per day it becomes a problem.

The changes made by AMPI caused an abrupt suspension of the issuance of driver's licenses.

‘We understand the sentiment of our drivers seeking and renewing their licenses for the inconvenience caused by the temporary glitch at LTO,” said Mar Roxas, DOTC Secretary. “We are conducting an investigation why AMPI made the unauthorized change without our approval; we expect LTO operations back to normal before the end of the week.”

As mandated by government administrative procedures, AMPI must follow the proper process in presenting a new design, have it approved by the governing body (in this case the DOTC and LTO) including the data that will be stored before it can be implemented.

The said “contractor”, Amalgamated Motors Philippines Inc. (AMPI), already had their contract expired in 2006, but the company's services were continued due to a writ of injunction by a QC court.

The injunction issued by Branch 96 of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court unlawfully enlarged the earlier injunction issued in a case filed by Realtime Data Management Services, Inc. and AMPI involving the bidding of a different project for the supply and delivery of driver’s license cards to LTO as a result of DOTC Special Order No. 2011-181 and Department Order No. 2010-36.

According to the Office of the Solicitor General: “The decision made by Judge Afable Cajigal of RTC-Branch 96 was an outrageous and flagrant violation of Republic Act No. 8975, which prohibits the issuance by lower courts of orders of injunction, among others, against national government infrastructure projects.”