The House of Representatives are getting closer to passing a unified bill to address issues regarding the issuance and validity of the Philippines driver’s license issued by the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

A technical working group (TWG), headed by Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Ty Pimentel, has been formed to unify seven different bills that have been filed in the House of Representatives seeking to extend the validity of drivers' licenses from three to five years.

The bills also tackles issues at the LTO that include congestion caused by the influx of people renewing their driver’s licenses, red tape, shortages of plastic cards, and legal issues surrounding the cards’ procurement, among others.

“This will remove inefficiencies brought about by more frequent application for renewals due to the shorter validity of licenses. It will also allow LTO to focus on processing the requests of first time applicants,” Pimentel said.

House committee on transportation chaired by Rep. Cesar V. Sarmiento also called on the LTO to impose stricter measures in testing driver’s license applicants in order to reduce the number of accidents on the roads.

LTO chief Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante has shown support for the bills filed in the House of Representatives and has stated that the agency has already started issuing driver’s licenses that are valid for five years since October of last year.

Galvante also indicated that the LTO is currently reviewing its examination and licensing processes for various types of applicants and licenses in order to ensure that all who go through it will be knowledgeable and skilled drivers on the road.

As for the issuance of plastic driver’s license cards, the LTO says it will be addressed by August 2017.