False ads on issuance of Philippines driver’s licenses circulating on social media

May 6, 2019 - 6:21 PM
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Motorist holding driver's license
A motorist shows his driver’s license with five-year validity as the Land Transportation Office launched the cards at its main office on East Avenue in Quezon City on Aug. 28, 2017. (The STAR/Michael Varcas)

A concerned Facebook user warned against false advertisements on social media claiming that private individuals can supposedly release legitimate drivers’ licenses.

Facebook user Botchi Santos shared a screenshot of a recent advertisement that claimed people can apply for a non-professional or a professional driver’s license with a processing time of “one to three days.”

 

“It looks like a fixer advert on social media for fake licenses. More and more people who don’t deserve a license get one every day through methods like this. And more stupid people are born every day who advertise their stupidity on social media,” he wrote.

The identity or Facebook profile of the one who originally shared the screenshot cannot be determined but a search on the social media platform using the exact keywords “9pcs drivers license pro and non pro released” bare two public posts.

One is from a particular Krystal Jean Bacarro Zayas and the other is from Shima Lazaro.

The posts similarly claim that they can release “original” driver’s licenses with “hologram” marks.

However, a check of the posters’ profiles reveals that neither of them works for the government, particularly the Land Transportation Office—the agency officially responsible for issuing such licenses.

Facebook user Shima Lazaro shares that she works as a crew member of a fast food chain and as an online seller.

Facebook user Lazaro
Facebook profile of Shima Lazaro, a crew member of a fast food chain and an online seller. (Screenshot by Interaksyon)

Krystal Jean Bacarro Zayas, meanwhile, claims that she is an “owner and founder at Divisoria Affordable Items” and a “legit Paluwagan handler.”

Facebook user Zayas
Facebook profile of Krystal Jean Bacarro Zayas, a “paluwagan handler” and a seller. (Screenshot by Interaksyon)

Driver’s licenses in the Philippines are only issued by the LTO, a government agency that oversees the permit issuance of Filipinos who wanted to drive land-locked vehicles such as cars, trucks and motors.

The agency gives out two types of driver’s licenses—a professional and a non-professional one.

The professional driver’s license is for people who drive as part of their job, such as jeepney or bus drivers. The non-professional driver’s license is for those who drive privately-owned vehicles.

One can only apply for a legitimate driver’s license at LTO offices located around the country. It is never issued by an individual since the process undergoes a procedure overseen by different LTO personnel.

An applicant must fill out a form and be medically cleared by a physician from an accredited clinic in order to be considered fit to operate a vehicle.

He or she must be able to pass the practical exam personally administered by an LTO personnel as well.

Only after undergoing such a procedure can an individual get his or her driver’s license.

On fixers and illegitimate licenses 

It is unlawful to be involved in a “fixing” business or a type of transaction wherein an individual—called a “fixer”—has access to people working within government offices or agencies and “facilitates speedy completion of transactions for pecuniary gain.”

Republic Act 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 prohibits such actions by individuals, adding that a fixer may or may not be working in a government office or agency.

Those who are found colluding or collaborating with a fixer for his own advantage will be penalized as well.

The particular law states that fixers can be imprisoned for a maximum of six years or be fined for P20,000 up to P200,000.

They are also permanently disqualified to run for public office, or dismissed if a government official.

Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code similarly prohibits people from making or using an imitation driver’s license intended to be used for legal purposes.

Those caught using such an illegitimate driver’s license will be penalized for P1,000 up to P3,000 or be imprisoned for a maximum of six months.