Subdivision guards have no authority to take visitors' licenses — PNP

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
Subdivision guards have no authority to take visitors' licenses â PNP
This detail of a Google Street View shows a gated subdivision in Taguig
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MANILA, Philippines — Village security personnel of housing subdivisions are no longer allowed to take the driver's licenses of visiting motorists before letting them in, a unit of the Philippine National Police said. 

In a memorandum dated Monday, June 15, and addressed to all private security industry personnel and their respective agencies, Police Col. Sidney Villaflor, acting chief of the Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies, said that homeowners' associations do not have the authority to take drivers' licenses.

He said only the Land Transportation Office can do that.

"This pertains to the incidents wherein security guards deployed in private villages and subdivisions require the drivers of vehicles to surrender their drivers' licenses before entering the premises," the memorandum read. 

'No authority to take licenses, even temporarily'

The circular invoked Republic Act No. 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, saying: “Pursuant to [the Republic Act,] the power to secure and/or confiscate drivers’ licenses are lodged under the capacity of the Land Transportation Office personnel, and others who are duly deputized by the said agency."

One section in the law reads:

SECTION 29. Confiscation of Driver’s License. – Law enforcement and peace officers of other agencies duly deputized by the Director shall, in apprehending a driver for any violation of this Act or any regulations issued pursuant thereto, or of local traffic rules and regulations not contrary to any provisions of this Act, confiscate the license of the driver concerned and issue a receipt prescribed and issued by the Bureau  therefore which shall authorize the driver to operate a motor vehicle for a period not exceeding seventy-two hours from the time and date of issue of said receipt. 

The memorandum also cited an administrative order from the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, saying that associations are "not authorized under traffic laws to take custody, even on a temporary basis, the license issued by the LTO."

The administrative order in question listed the powers and duties of a homeowner's association. Although the temporary surrender of drivers licenses is not mentioned, Section 6(c) of the document says that homeowners' associations may "regulate access to or passage through the subdivision." 

“In lieu thereof, the drivers of vehicles entering these properties may present any valid government-issued identification cards to said security guards. Likewise, said security guards are reminded to uphold their professional conduct and ethics and be courteous to everyone,” the memorandum read.



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