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LTO standardizes costs and shortens the length of driving school

New regulations on the accreditation and oversight of driving schools, as well as the standardization of driver and conductor instruction, were released on Wednesday by the Land Transportation Office (LTO), and they will go into effect on April 15.

Depending on the kind of vehicle or license number the applicant will be applying for, private driving institutes are only permitted to charge up to PHP1,000 for a theoretical driving course (TDC) and PHP2,500–PHP8,000 for a practical driving course (PDC).

According to the memorandum, applicants can finish the required 15-hour theoretical driving training in two days rather than three to seven hours on the first day and eight hours on the following day – within a month.

As required by the license code, the practical driving training must last at least eight hours.

In accordance with the memorandum, “PDC for light and heavy vehicles shall be conducted for at least two days, while eight-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.

Due to the issue of some candidates not showing up, driving schools are also required to register the biometrics and information of their applicants into the Land Transportation Management System (LTMS) system using the Client ID.

It is necessary to register his or her biometrics before and after every session in order to track attendance. In order to document the applicant’s real presence during the administration of the face-to-face TDC and written test or validation, the Driving Institution shall furnish and retain an attendance sheet.

Applicants will receive a Certificate of Course Completion that is electronically delivered to LTMS in real-time through the Driving Institution Portal after successfully completing the course and passing the final exams in TDC and the 8-hour PDC.

Driving schools were reminded by LTO Chief Assistant Secretary Jose Arturo “Jay Art” Tugade during a press conference at the LTO headquarters in East Avenue, Quezon City, that overcharging or failing to follow the new standards could result in fines, suspension or revocation of their accreditation.

“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 (These maximum rates were made in response to complaints of expensive fees for driving schools, but these prices are also fair to these institutions),” Tugade said.

For the first infraction, driving schools that violate the memorandum’s recommended prices will be fined PHP50,000 and suspended for six months.

A third offense will result in the cancellation of their accreditation, and a second offense will cost them PHP100,000 and a one-year suspension.

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