With the motorcycle industry rapidly growing, the country has witnessed a spike in motorcycle-related accidents in the main arteries of Metro Manila such as C5, EDSA, and Commonwealth. Now, the Land Transportation (LTO) has new policies and hopefully, with the implementation of the new measures, we would also see fewer road accidents specially to motorcycle riders.
The LTO is now taking measures to rid the roads of unqualified drivers in its bid to help resolve the country’s traffic situation, more particularly in Metro Manila. This is in accordance to the issuance of Memorandum Circular 2019-2176 implementing Republic Act 4316 as amended by Batas Pambansa No. 398 and Executive Order No. 1011, otherwise known as “The Land Transportation and Traffic Code”.
Under the said Memorandum, applicants for student permits are now required to undergo a fifteen-hour driving course on road rules and driving laws. The classes would be divided into three five-hour classes which would cover: Introduction to Driving and Traffic Rules; Land Transportation and Related Special Laws; and Road Courtesy. Upon completion of this course, only then will they be issued a student permit. They aim to start implementing this measure starting on April 6, 2020.
Under the new measure, student permit applicants would have to now incur additional costs as they have to pay for the online medical test, a drug test, and now a theoretical driving course on top of the LTO fee of Php 317.63. In the past, if a person applied for a student permit, after a month of being issued one, he can now apply for a non-professional license or a professional license after a year. The new Memorandum Circular would no longer allow this.
The LTO will now also begin to implement the 10-year validity of driver’s licenses by October 2021 as directed by congress. However, the agency also plans to implement a demerit system on the validity of driver’s licenses. For instance, if the license exceeds the allowable number of violations, the license will be given validity for less than 10 years. If the license holder has a clean record and there is no violation, his license renewal would be valid for the next 10 years.
LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante stated “These are some of the improvements that we are doing. Applicants may find it difficult, but we want to emphasize that driving is a privilege If they do not meet the requirements, they should not be given a license.”