For the past few weeks, making rounds on the news beat has been that the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is eyeing the lowering of driving school rates for future students and drivers.
The transportation agency is actually taking another step to make it more official after a press conference held earlier today.
LTO wants to combat overpricing for driving schools
Earlier today the agency held a press conference about the lowering of driving school rates. It was led by none other than LTO chief Jay Art Tugade.
Specifically, the new fees are filed under Memorandum Circular No. JMT-2023-2390 or otherwise known as the “Omnibus Guidelines on the Accreditation, Supervision, and Control of Driving Institutions, and the Standardization of Driver and Conductor’s Education.”
Under the memorandum, private driving school institutions are only allowed to charge as high as PHP 1,000 for the Theoretical Driving Course (TDC). While practical driving tests for license codes A and A1 can only be charged at PHP 2,500. For license codes B, B1, and B2 the highest rate should be PHP 4,000, and finally for codes C (carrier of goods such as trucks), D (Passenger vehicles like Buses), and CE (articulated vehicles) the rate tops out at PHP 8,000.
Those private driving school institutions who fail to comply could face a fine of PHP 50,000 and a six-month suspension of the driving school’s accreditation. Second-time offenders will be faced with a PHP 100,000 fine and a 1-year suspension of the accreditation, and finally an overall revocation and cancellation of the school’s accreditation should they be caught a 3rd time.
“Ang mga bagong panuntunan na ito ay dumaan sa masusing pag-aaral ng technical working group at sumalang din sa serye ng mga konsultasyon sa lahat ng stakeholders,” diin ni LTO Chief Tugade.
“Nabuo ang maximum prescribed rates na ito bilang tugon sa apela ng marami nating kababayan na umiiyak sa mataas na singilin pero maituturing din itong patas na hakbang para sa driving schools na namuhunan din,” dagdag ng opisyal.
Furthermore, the memorandum also aims to lessen the time spent taking the Theoretical Driving course to a total of 7 hours from the previous 15 hours, while practical driving tests should be completed with a total of 8 hours only regardless of the license code of the applicant/student.
“PDC for light and heavy vehicles shall be conducted for at least TWO days while 8-hour PDC for motorcycles may be conducted in one day, provided that the student-driver has proven to have already acquired the knowledge based on the assessment by a practical driving instructor,” according to the LTO memorandum.
Lastly, the agency is also asking each driving school to input all of the applicants/student’s information in the Land Transportation Management System (LTMS) client ID in order to properly track when the exact start date of each student/applicant.
“Registration of his/her biometrics before and after every session for attendance purposes is required. The Driving Institution shall provide and maintain an attendance sheet to record the actual presence of the applicant during the conduct of the face-to-face TDC and written examination or validation,” says the memorandum.
Upon completion of the courses, the student/applicant will be given a Certificate of Course Completion which will be transmitted by the LTMS in real time. This memorandum is said to take effect by April 15, 2023, according to the LTO.