In a hearing by the Senate Committee on Public Service regarding road accidents held yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said that not only are Filipino drivers reckless but also stupid.
He called the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to enforce a stricter process for renewing licenses. However, he said that if in the event honest-to-goodness exams will be implemented as required in other countries, more than 50 percent will not pass.
Sotto recalls his personal experience in his travels and observed that there are a lot of motorists who do not follow traffic regulations such as unauthorized parking in city streets and thus contribute to traffic congestion. He said that addressing this problem can contribute in solving the massive road problem in Metro Manila.
He also pointed out how it is easy for drivers to acquire and renew licenses which doesn’t further screen or monitor their performance behind the wheel.
LTO Chief and Assistant Transportation Secretary Edgar Galvante admits that there are indeed shortcomings in the qualification process, particularly in the licensing process for professional drivers.
He stated that under the law, a driver who had been previously issued a six-month student license is qualified to apply for a professional license. However, he did assure the agency will take measures to further assess the performance of drivers. He said that the agency will promote separate sets of exams for professional and non-professional drivers.
Currently, there is only one exam for both categories.
He did not say anything as to how enforcing separate exams will solve the problem of having stupid drivers.
Just last month a tourist bus carrying 50 passengers, mostly students, hit an electric pole in Tanay, Rizal, killing 15 people including the driver. The Senate called for an investigation towards the matter and to also address concerns regarding passenger safety and qualifications of drivers.