The Land Transportation Office has cited a shortage of plastic drivers’ licenses and said it will soon launch digital cards to manage the severe backlog.

On May 2, the LTO issued a statement recording a shortage of 234,149 cards, affecting the overall efficiency of issuing drivers’ ID cards across a number of its centres in various regions, with the most affected area reporting a backlog of 32,400 licenses.

The Land Transportation Office plan to integrate electronic drivers’ license into a “super app”, similar to a wallet which stores multiple digital credentials.

They will continue to procure physical cards as well as securing source codes of the Land Transportation Management System from their supplier, Dermalog to issue digital licenses.

Seven suppliers are in the bidding war to supply 5.2 million additional drivers’ license cards which begins on 24 May. The mitigate supply issues in the future, the LTO is seeking a multi-year contracting deal and will divide the production of cards over this year and next year.

Senator Grace Poe issued a statement asking for transparency of the failings and supplier problems.

“We ask the LTO to give the public a complete report on its backlog on vehicle plates and license cards to give a complete picture of the issues it is facing. With this, we also expect to know its timeline for clearing its deficiencies and how it will do it”.