TRO lifted on LTO plastic cards

MANILA, Philippines — The Court of Appeals (CA) has lifted the writ of preliminary injunction earlier issued by a Quezon City court for the delivery of over three million plastic cards used in the printing of driver’s licenses.

“A victory for the Filipino people. We admire and respect the wisdom of the justices of the Court of Appeals in their decision to lift the writ of preliminary injunction,” Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Vigor Mendoza II said yesterday.

He added that immediately after the ruling of the CA, at least one million plastic cards were delivered to the LTO office yesterday.

The LTO chief added that the plastic cards were supposed to be delivered, but were prevented by the lower court’s injunction order.

“Even before, we have been arguing that public interest must always prevail over business interest and in this case, the CA clearly saw the soundness and validity of the arguments we presented through the Office of the Solicitor General,” he added.

Mendoza has tasked concerned LTO officials to coordinate with Banner Plastics Card Inc. for the immediate delivery of the plastic cards.

He said the LTO will come up with a new release schedule of plastic card-printed driver’s licenses at the soonest possible time.

Mendoza expressed confidence that the backlog on plastic cards for driver’s license will be addressed as early as the second half of 2024 after Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista ordered the immediate bidding process for the procurement of over six million plastic cards under the General Appropriations Act.

Bautista also ordered the LTO to explore everything possible and legal to ensure the speedy procurement of more plastic cards.

The backlog for plastic cards is over 4.1 million before the end of March this year. The LTO issues 550,000 plastic cards every month.

The writ of preliminary injunction stemmed from a case filed by losing bidder Allcards Inc. in the procurement of around 5.2 million plastic cards early last year.

The winning bidder, Banner Plastic Card Inc., had delivered nearly two million plastic cards when a Quezon City court issued the writ of preliminary injunction.