LTO lauds DILG memo on confiscation of erring motorists’ license

Published September 23, 2022, 2:18 PM

by Jel Santos

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has lauded the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for reiterating that only the LTO and its deputized agents are allowed to confiscate the driver’s license of erring motorists.

MMDA traffic enforcers conduct dry-run of the expanded number coding scheme. The number coding started on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022 but the MMDA gave motorists three days to adjust. Both the ground apprehension and no-contact apprehension for violators will start on Aug. 18, 2022. (Photo: MMDA)

In a Facebook post Thursday, Sept. 22, the LTO welcomed the memorandum issued by the DILG which stressed that local government units (LGUs) can issue traffic citation tickets to drivers who committed traffic violations but only LTO and its deputized agents can confiscate their driver’s license.

“Ikinalugod ng LTO ang nasabing utos ng DILG sa mga local government unit at sa lokal na puwersa ng pulisya sa buong bansa (The LTO welcomes the said order of the DILG to the local government units and the local police force),” the LTO said.

“Naniniwala ang ahensya na naaayon ito sa naunang pasya ng Korte Suprema at sa mga probisyong nakasaad sa ilalim ng Republic Act 10930 na ang pagkumpiska ng driver’s license ay maaari lamang gawin ng LTO (The agency believes that this is consistent with the Supreme Court’s earlier ruling and the provisions stated under Republic Act 10930 which said that the confiscation of driver’s license can only be done by the LTO),” it added.

The LTO said the DILG’s memorandum only aims to highlight that the Office is the primary law enforcement agency that has the mandate to ensure traffic laws are implemented and followed for the safety of the public.

“Nagbubukas din ito ng oportunidad sa LTO upang higit na magkaroon ng pagtutulungan ang ahensya at LGUs na palakasin pa ang kampanya hinggil sa kaligtasan at disiplina sa mga lansangan (This also opens an opportunity for the LTO to have a better cooperation with LGUs to further strengthen the campaign regarding safety and discipline on the streets),” the agency said.

In its memorandum, the DILG also directed local governments to review their traffic ordinances and policies to ensure that their traffic management units are in accordance with the provision of the DILG-DOTC Joint Memorandum Circular No. 01, Series 2008, Section 3.4 which states that LGUs “can issue traffic citation tickets but only the LTO and their deputized agents can confiscate driver’s licenses.”

The 1964 Traffic Code which created the LTO states that it is only the agency or its deputized personnel that has the power to confiscate a driver’s license.

Pointing to Section 62 of the 1964 Traffic Code, Abalos emphasized that “no provincial boards, city or municipal boards or councils shall enact or enforce any ordinance or resolution in conflict with the provisions of this act.’’

Abalos insisted that it would be chaotic if every local government unit (LGU) in the country has the authority to confiscate drivers’ licenses.

“Imagine mo papanhik ka ng Baguio. Nahuli ka bandang Mandaluyong, nakuha lisensya mo. So from Mandaluyong papuntang Baguio wala kang lisensya. Dala mo ‘yung ticket ng Mandaluyong. What if ‘yung ticket na ‘yun hindi irecognize ng Tarlac, Pampanga, lahat ng dadadaanan mo, Pangasinan or ng ibang LGU? (Imagine if you are going to Baguio and your license got confiscated in the area of Mandaluyong. So from Mandaluyong to Baguio you do not have a license. You only have the ticket issued in Mandaluyong. What if your ticket is not recognized in Tarlac, Pampanga, all of the provinces that you will pas through, in Pangasinan or other LGU?),’’ Abalos said.

The DILG official emphasized that the purpose of confiscating the driver’s icense is to ensure that the concerned party will pay the fines for their traffic violations.

In these cases, the LGUs issuing the citation tickets may relay to the LTO not to renew the drivers’ licenses of individuals with unpaid traffic fines. (With reports from Chito Chavez)