By LITO RULONA
CITY COUNCIL has passed, in its regular session this week, a resolution asking the Land Transportation Office-10 to introduce another version of the driver’s licensing exam in local dialect.
Authored by City Councilor Edna Dahino, chair of the committee on finance and appropriation, the resolution aims to encourage more people to apply for a driver’s license without the hindrance of whether they understand English or not.
“One of the main thrust of our city is to provide livelihood to our people, and one of this livelihood I can identify is driving,” she said during her privilege speech.
She said for the residents in the city, a driver’s license is more than just an official document issued under the government authority that permits the holder to operate a motorized vehicle and to many it is a means of employment.
However, Dahino claimed that getting license isn’t always easy and it’s not cheap either.
“Unfortunately, many will fail because many of these prospective applicants who aspire to be employed as drivers lack education, compounding to this problem is the fact that many applicants struggle to understand what they read, making it harder for them to pass the written exams, too,” she pointed out.
She claimed that this is a big problem in our community. As she observed, many of the residents will just resort to driving without license just to earn a living or perhaps they will enticed to obtain their license through improper channels.
Over LTO website, driver’s license in the Philippines consists of three types. These are student permit, non-professional driver’s license, and professional driver’s license. The minimum age for driving in the Philippines is 17 years old provided that the driver has a student permit and is accompanied by a person with a professional driver’s license.
An applicant can only apply for a non-professional driver’s license one month after acquiring a student permit and six months after for a professional driver’s license. An applicant must pass both the Land Transportation Office written exam and driving exam.
If the applicant fails the tests, they must wait for a month before they will be allowed to take the tests again.
“Why allow this practice to go on? When we can possibly make a revision of our guidelines in acquiring driver license and solve this chronic problem,” Dahino pointed out.
She said it is possible that the city government can help the drivers acquire a license – as their way of supporting their choice of livelihood – through the City Council Committee on Public Utilities or the Roads and Traffic Administration they can make study guides for aspiring drivers available.
“We can help in educating these drivers through seminars so that they can pass the exams the right way and to stop resorting to bribery. We urge the LTO-10 to make available the exam in Bisaya version, as an alternative to the English and (Filipino) version that is available now.”