Manila City asserts it can continue confiscating driver’s licenses of erring motorists

LGUs that have their own traffic laws are supposedly not covered by the DILG memo
by Leandre Grecia | Sep 26, 2022
Manila City traffic
PHOTO: Shutterstock

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) recently released a memo—which was lauded by the Land Transportation Office (LTO), by the way—saying that only the LTO and its deputized officers can confiscate driver’s licenses and that traffic enforcers from local government units can only issue tickets to motorists for violations.

The City of Manila, however, is saying otherwise. In a recent interview, communications head Atty. Princess Abante said that the Local Government Code also empowers LGUs such as Manila to “regulate their own traffic.” Under Ordinance No. 8092 of the Traffic Code of Manila City, local traffic enforcers may confiscate the licenses of motorists apprehended for certain violations.

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Meron ding kapangyarihan ang mga local government units na gumawa ng sarili nilang ordinansa para isaayos ang kanilang batas trapiko, at kasama doon kung ano yung mga penalties [atpaano ang pag-implement nito, added Abante. “At dito sa Lungsod ng Maynila, sa aming ordinansa, sa mga nahuhuli na lumalabag sa batas trapiko ay pwedeng i-confiscate ng ating mga traffic enforcers ang kanilang mga lisensya para matubos nila as they pay their penalties.”

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confiscation of driver’s license by LTO officer

Asked if this announcement could cause confusion due to the recent DILG memo, Abante clarified that the authority of the LTO and Manila City to confiscate driver’s licenses come from different sources.“Magkaiba lang siya ng source ng authority, hindi naman siya magkasalungat. Kailangan lang ng proper coordination.”

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“At this moment, the City of Manila through our mayor Honey Lacuna will be sending a letter to [DILG] secretary [Benhur] Abalos to formally inform them that we do have our local ordinance and we will continue to implement it,” Abante furthered. “Consistent din naman yon sa gusto ng LTO na maging maayos din ang ating batas trapiko.” 

That should clear things up a bit for now. We’re expecting more updates from the DILG and other Metro Manila LGUs regarding the matter, so stay tuned.

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