The Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Region 7 plans to have more instructors for the theoretical driving course (TDC) so the agency could accommodate more scholars.
LTO-7 Regional Director Victor Emmanuel Caindec told local media that since their office started offering the free TDC, over 23,000 scholars have availed of the free training.
Those applying for a student-driver permit has to undergo a 15-hour TDC as required by the LTO Memorandum 2019-2176 which pertains to the rules and regulations on accreditation, supervision, and control of driving institutions, and on standardization of driver education.”
A student-driver’s permit will only be issued upon completion of a 15-hour mandatory theoretical driving course to be conducted by the LTO or an accredited driving school.
The LTO Memorandum Circular No. 2176 dated December 5, 2019, which was implemented in the third quarter of 2020, also aims to ensure uniformity of the driver education course.
Realizing that not all could afford to pay for the TDC offered by a driving school, RD Caindec initiated the offering of free theoretical driving course to those who could not afford to pay for the training.
According to Caindec, they have lobbied with LTO Assistant Secretary Jose Arturo Tugade for his support to expand the free TDC.
LTO7’s free course benefitted more than 23,000 scholars although it only has two lecturers, who are organic LTO employees, conducting the TDC. LTO7 has brought its TDC to far-flung barangays as part of its “Malasakit on Wheels” program brought through the e-Patrol Mobile service.
RD Caindec said they are planning to increase the number of instructors to four or five this year, which would enable them to increase the number of TDC scholars who could avail of the free course.
For almost five years under Caindec’s leadership, LTO7 also increased its offices from less than 20 to 37, bringing its services closer to the community.
He thanked the support of lawmakers who sponsored laws, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) head office and local government units that enabled LTO7 to open offices in various areas in Central Visayas. “This is a very challenging work for us, opening of new offices and reaching more areas,” Caindec said.
He also disclosed that LTO will be going towards digitization, which is a major thrust of Asec Tugade, which would have new application or renewal for driver’s license and vehicle registration submitted online directly to the LTO head office.
Caindec said that he hoped that for those who complained of long lines in submitting applications with LTO will be using their cellphone when they apply or renew their driver’s license or vehicle registration.
“That’s is one of the pillars of the program of DOTR Secretary (Jaime) Bautista and Assistant Secretary Jay Art Tugade and Region 7 LTO is fully supportive of all the plans that they have and LTO7 will be at the forefront of the implementation,” he pointed out.
When asked whether he will stay as regional director at LTO7 or given a higher office, he replied that “that is not a fate that rests with me.
“It’s not my decision. What is important, I will continue my work and the most important is that people will continue to look at LTO, voice their concerns and are not afraid to criticize the agency. This is the basis for what we call transparency,” he added.
LTO7 over the course of four years and 11 months have been a very service-oriented agency and has been people centered and looks after the welfare of all the stakeholders, according to Caindec.