The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has recommended the imposition of stricter regulation and a one-strike policy for driving schools and private companies supposedly assisting fixers in their illegal activities.
ARTA Director-General Jeremiah Belgica said this following the arrest of a releasing officer assigned at the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Novaliches, Quezon City for illegal fixing services to student permit applicants.
A series of entrapment operations and investigations by ARTA and the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) at several LTO branches revealed that most fixing activities involved collusion among LTO employees, driving schools, emission centers, and medical clinics.
Belgica proposed suspending driving schools and private companies with substantiated complaints or prohibited practices while under investigation.
“Through this approach, private accredited companies are constrained to go through the process of determining an individual’s driving ability by implementing seminars, lectures, training, evaluations, exams, or emission testing,” he said.
“This ensures that those seeking licenses are aware of traffic laws and that vehicles are roadworthy,” he added.
ARTA formally submitted the recommendations to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on May 19.
Belgica’s other recommendations include stringent investigation and scrutiny of driver’s license and vehicle registration process, including private entity accreditation. He also wanted the verification of driving school certificates.
“We suggest that LTO lay down measures that will determine the authenticity of certificates of completion of driving examinations offered by private accredited entities,” he said.