Diokno: LTO driver's licensing exam a 'joke'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 28) — Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno called the driver's licensing exam given by the Land Transportation Office "a joke".

"It's a joke eh, 'yung binibigay na driving exam. Urong-sulong lang, pasado ka na," said Diokno in CNN Philippines' Town Hall Tuesday.

[Translation: It's a joke, the driving exam you take. You drive forward and reverse, and you automatically pass.]

This was supported by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, who said training classes for driving should be stricter, especially for drivers of public utility vehicles.

"Kailangan higpitan 'yung driving ng mga public utility vehicle," Lopez said. "Parang, nakahawak lang ng manibela, pinag-drive na."

[Translation: We'd need to be stricter with drivers of public utility vehicles. It's as if the standard of driving is being able to hold a steering wheel.]

Senator Richard Gordon chimed in, adding that the backlog of driver's licenses is exacerbating the problem.

"'Yung lisensya natin ang tagal-tagal makuha, ni hindi ka dina-driving test," Gordon said.

[Translation: It takes too long to get our licenses, and you barely even get tested during the driving exam.]

The LTO had a backlog of more than 3 million license cards after a Temporary Restraining Order was issued against LTO's plastic card supplier for not undergoing the proper bidding process.

He added that driving tests should also teach proper "attitude" when driving.

"When you get to learn to drive, you drive not only with your eyes, but with your mind," Gordon said.

According to Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, any person who wants to operate a motor vehicle must go through written and practical examinations administered by the LTO.

But the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) launched the Drivers Academy last May  to teach professional drivers road and driving etiquette.

LTFRB board member Atty. Aileen Lizada told CNN Philippines all PUV drivers must undergo mandatory continuing driver training in the Driver's Academy.

Lizada added that those who do not comply with the mandatory training course will be given show cause orders.