MANILA — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) launched Thursday its Drivers’ Academy for public utility vehicles (PUV) drivers as part of the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) vision to modernize public transportation in the country.
DOTr Undersecretary for Road Transportation Thomas Orbos said the academy will provide PUV drivers with seminars on basic road safety, driving courtesy and traffic rules and regulations.
“Secretary Tugade aims for this Drivers’ Academy to become a very good venue for PUV drivers to be reminded of the basic traffic rules and regulations. But, this time they should learn it by heart as thousands of public transport commuters depend on them,” Orbos said in a statement.
He also said it is necessary that all PUV drivers follow basic road rules and know various traffic signs to prevent road accidents and ease the traffic situation in Metro Manila.
Around 100 PUV drivers participated in the initial training seminar, where they were lectured on basic road safety, driving courtesy, traffic rules and regulations, and re-acquaint them on the various traffic and directional signs.
Certificates of completion will be given to PUV drivers who would undergo and finish the one-day training seminar conducted by instructors and resource persons from the LTFRB.
LTFRB will be requiring PUV drivers to present or submit the certificate for the renewal of their licenses and franchises
The seminar training will be replicated in LTFRB regional offices nationwide.
Through this program, PUV drivers will be provided seminars and undergo examinations to evaluate their driving competencies. Drivers who will pass the exams will be given an identification (ID) card with a one-year validity which may be renewed thereafter.
In an earlier interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA), board member and spokesperson Aileen Lizada said the LTFRB intends to implement seminars on a graduated basis depending on the level of qualification of drivers. These will be provided free of charge to PUV operators and drivers. Drivers of private vehicles may also opt to participate in the training academy.
The LTFRB will also seek the support of educational institutions, government agencies as well as commuter safety organizations to craft a comprehensive program that would not only develop the driving skills of PUV drivers but also inculcate the value of safety and discipline on the roads. “We want to provide courses on real-life driving situations for PUV drivers to become more aware of road safety,” according to Lizada.
The agency eventually envisions implementing a database for PUV drivers that will monitor their compliance with traffic rules and regulations and will also share the information with the Land Transportation Office.
“It will be a prerequisite for PUV operators to only hire drivers who underwent and passed the training academy,” Lizada stated.