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Court halts delivery of plastic cards

MANILA, Philippines — A Quezon City court has issued a preliminary injunction stopping the delivery of plastic cards for driver’s license by the winning bidder.

At a press conference yesterday, Land Transportation (LTO) chief Vigor Mendoza said that once the losing bidder – ALLCARD Inc. – formally files a bond before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 215, the production of plastic cards would be suspended until the injunction is lifted.

“What the court issued was not a temporary restraining order of 20 days but a preliminary injunction, which means that the delivery of plastic cards will be stopped until the case is resolved with finality or the court will have another ruling withdrawing the injunction,” Mendoza said.

“The moment the injunction becomes effective, the supplier needs to stop. It is prohibited to deliver,” he added.

If that happens, Mendoza said the LTO would be forced to issue paper again for those who will apply for a new driver’s license.

He noted that from the total backlog of 2.4 million driver’s licenses, the LTO was able to bring it down to 2.2 million after the winning bidder, Banner Plasticard Inc., started to deliver the plastic cards.

“It will affect our timeline. What we want is to prevent issuing paper licenses. Although the injunction is not yet effective as ALLCARD needs to file a bond. As of Friday, the losing bidder has yet to file a bond. That is why the deliveries are still ongoing,” Mendoza explained.

At least two million plastic cards have been delivered by the supplier, he said.

“We are using these (plastic cards) in the last few weeks. But once the bond becomes effective, we will cater to the backlog. For backlog in April, we can finish it by October, and for the plastic cards in November, we will cater to May. And then by December, we will cater to the June backlog. Affected is the current usage,” Mendoza said.

“If you go to the LTO to apply for driver’s license, the issuance of actual plastic cards will be affected,” he added.

Mendoza said the LTO is planning to file a motion before the Court of Appeals through the Office of the Solicitor General.

“We anticipate a two-month delay. We have requested the Department