December 5, 2023

The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Cordillera has busted a group selling counterfeit professional driver’s licenses, especially to errand service drivers in Baguio, for P4,000 each.
Eight counterfeit professional driver’s licenses were seized by CIDG-CAR operatives from two suspects during an entrapment operation at Barangay San Vicente last week which also led to the arrest of the supposed leader of the group.
All seized driver’s licenses were invalidated by the Land Transportation Office, according to LTO Regional Director Francis Almora.  All LTO-issued driver’s licenses have a security feature through a laser printing system to protect the integrity of the license.
Almora said the counterfeit licenses were allegedly printed along Avenida Avenue in Metro Manila based on the report submitted by CIDG-CAR under director Col. Melvin Napiloy.
The group behind the fake licenses targets errand service drivers who are holders of non-professional driver’s licenses, as they could not continue with their job without converting their current license to professional driver’s license.
Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code states that any person who is hired or paid for driving or operating a motor vehicle, whether for private use or for hire, must possess a professional driver’s license.
Almora reported it would appear that because of the strict requirement of LTO that drivers of public carriers should possess a professional driver’s license, syndicated groups are targeting drivers who cannot pass the LTO written examination to be able to acquire a valid license, which is a strict requirement of companies engaged in food delivery services.
Almora has encouraged the public, especially drivers who seek a license, to transact only with LTO personnel inside the office as prescribed by the new procedure under the Land Transportation Management System.
Almora also urged victims of the modus to coordinate with CIDG-CAR for filing of charges against the arrested suspects.
Department of Transportation Joint Administrative Order 2014-01 states that motorists caught using fake licenses will be made to pay a P3,000 fine and will be disqualified from driving a motor vehicle for one year after the fine has been settled.
The Inter-Agency Council for Traffic has warned drivers not to use fake driver’s licenses, as they will face criminal charges and if found guilty will lead to a prison term of six months. – Harley F. Palangchao