Driving Competence Not the Only Measure for Granting Driver’s Licenses -LTO

“We prefer a more holistic approach. Sometimes an applicant doesn’t know anything about driving but then he says he’s willing to make a personal donation… shouldn’t we honor that kindhearted gesture with a license?”

(Manila) The Land Transportation Office (LTO) defended itself early Tuesday against allegations that its testing protocols for granting driver’s licenses lack the necessary rigors for screening incompetent and potentially dangerous drivers.

“Hindi lang naman galing sa pagmamaneho ang dapat na batayan sa pagbibigay ng lisensya. Nandiyan din ang puso, ang kabutihang-loob, ang kagandahang-asal at marami pang ibang dapat tignan.” Robert Hilagan of the LTO’s License Section said.

(“Driving competency cannot be the only basis for granting driver’s licenses. There are other things to consider such as heart, kindness, and good conduct.”)

Earlier this week, critics of the Metropolitan Manila Management Authority’s (MMDA) new idiot lane policy along EDSA pointed to the LTO as the main culprit behind the alarmingly large number of idiots with driver’s licenses in the country.

“The question we should be asking is ‘how do incompetent drivers get licenses in the first place?’” Director John Malampas of the transportation consulting firm Brewer and James said Monday afternoon.

Hilagan argued that driving competency alone is a narrow and limited basis for whether or not a license applicant is fit to drive.

“We prefer a more holistic approach. Sometimes an applicant doesn’t know anything about driving but then he says he’s willing to make a personal donation… shouldn’t we honor that kindhearted gesture with a license?” Hilagan explained.

The LTO spokesman also explained that sometimes applicants don’t have time to make a personal appearance because they are too busy with their schedules and that in such cases the agency does its best to be considerate.

“In such cases when the applicant is too busy to show up in person, we think it’s enough that they promise they know how to drive.” Hilagan said.

Hilagan boasted that the LTO is known for being one of the kindest, most considerate and accommodating agencies in the country when it comes to the issuance of licenses.

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