Last April, during the 24th National Federation of Motorcycle Clubs of the Philippines (NFMCP) Convention in Legaspi City Albay, President Rodrigo Duterte said that he was not happy with the proliferation of motorcycles. He noted how a lot of riders don't possess the skills to properly and safely ride their bikes. The President even remarked, “there is really anarchy in the streets.” He then called for a Mandatory Motorcycle Rider Training, which the President, with more than 40 years of motorcycle riding experience, believes may realistically lessen motorcycle related accidents due to rider error.
When asked if the LTO would push for that directive from the President, Executive Director Atty. Romeo Vera Cruz confirmed this. During the Motorcycle Dealers Association of the Philippines (MDAP) induction of officers ceremony last Oct. 16, the executive director confirmed that the agency is in fact in the process of accrediting riding and driving schools for classroom and practical examinations. This includes training of license holders across the board.
“Yung mga driving schools, hindi lang ganun ang driving school (Our current driving schools, it will be different this time)”. “We will be coming up with an accreditation. If they (riding/ driving school) complied with the [strict] requirements, they will be authorized to conduct the examination and also to operate a test track.” The LTO ED added.
Last May, just a month after the President called for a mandatory motorcycle rider training, Senator JV Ejercito filed Senate Bill 1822 or the Motorcycle Safety Training Act of 2018 that requires an individual to complete a motorcycle safety training course prior to the registration of their motorcycle. Under the bill, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is mandated to conduct a motorcycle safety training program for motorcycle owners. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and LTO will also be tasked to establish a Comprehensive Motorcycle Safety Training Program and Manual (handbook) which will be used for the course. The bill also prescribes a penalty of P50,000 pesos for any individual who falsifies a certification of training and said certificate shall be revoked.
“They (riding school) will also be authorized to operate a test track [for training],” added Atty. Vera Cruz. He conceded that the lack of government funding and facilities only allowed the agency to do so much with regards to driver and motorcycle rider screening. Further, the ED also said that the deputized driving/ riding schools will be key players in the success of the President’s rider training advocacy.
"They will be conducting the examination: theoretical and practical,” he said. Outsourcing this will eliminate under the table transactions within the LTO.
When asked how many are they planning to deputize and which individuals or companies will conduct the training, the LTO ED said it “should be limited lang” to keep the quality in place, citing the LTO’s deputizing a lot of PETCs (Private Emission Testing Centers) in the past as an example of doing more harm than good due to business competition.