Even during a pandemic, crime doesn't sleep. As it turns out, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has caught wind of illegal activity with fixers going online. The agency has recently received verified reports of individuals “offering” their “help” in the application and renewal of driver's licenses. How do they do it?
These fixers have, apparently, been offering their services through social media platforms. The LTO has mentioned Facebook as one of the sites where these activities have been rampant. With that, the LTO has launched an investigation to identify and apprehend these fixers. At the same time, the agency will also go after individuals who, in their words, knowingly patronize these services. If apprehended, the fixer or individual who willingly availed of fixer services will be charged with criminal, civil, and administrative suits.
As most parts of the country are still under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), LTO centers are still closed. Thankfully, The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has announced that it has extended the validity of driver's licenses that expired during ECQ. Upon the lifting of the restrictions, all expired driver's licenses will still be valid up to 60 days (or two months). No penalties will be incurred for the renewal of the expired driver's license if it fell during ECQ.
Once General Community Quarantine is in place, motorists may go to LTO centers for license application, renewal, and registration. In some parts of the country that are currently under GCQ, these facilities have been opened since May 2, 2020. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque has, under the orders of the president, told the LTO to implement social distancing guidelines in their renewal centers.
“Siguro ang pag pila ngayon parang pila sa supermarket. Yung mga upuan malayo sa isa't-isa para nga po maiwasan ang pagkalat ng COVID-19,” said Roque.
(Perhaps lining up these days will be like lining up in the supermarket. The chairs must be far away from each other in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.)
The LTO would like to remind the public that patronizing fixers and the practice of “fixing” is, “not authorized and patently illegal”. Fixers have long been a problem of the LTO, and for as long as people patronize them, it's an issue that will keep coming up from time to time.