The Land Transportation Office (LTO) in the Philippines is set to introduce shorter driver’s license examinations in a bid to cut down on the public’s dependence on fixers. LTO Chief Jose Arturo Tugade acknowledged that long and tedious procedures often prompt license applicants to seek assistance from fixers. As such, the agency is currently studying how to shorten the exam, which currently takes around two hours, for all driver’s license applicants. Tugade is hopeful that reducing the exam duration will encourage applicants to take the exam themselves, without resorting to fixers.
To further improve the licensing process, the LTO is also studying driver classifications and adding a driver’s license code, which would help in the customization of the exam questions depending on the applicant’s classification. By incorporating technology into its processes, such as online application forms, online transactions, and online renewals, the LTO aims to fight corruption within the agency. Tugade also revealed that the manual ticketing system has already been replaced by a law enforcement mobile handheld device that issues electronic temporary operator’s permits for violators of traffic laws.
The introduction of shorter driver’s license exams is a welcome development for many Filipinos, who often struggle with the lengthy and confusing process of obtaining a license. Fixers are notorious for preying on these applicants, offering their services for a fee to help navigate the complex requirements and procedures. While the LTO has been making efforts to crack down on fixers, their services remain in demand due to the difficulty of obtaining a driver’s license independently. By shortening the exams and streamlining the process, the agency hopes to reduce the public’s dependence on fixers and make it easier for Filipinos to obtain driver’s licenses.
The LTO’s focus on technology is also a step in the right direction, as it can help simplify and speed up the licensing process. Online application forms, transactions, and renewals can save applicants time and effort, while electronic temporary operator’s permits can make it easier for law enforcement to track and penalize traffic violators. Incorporating technology into its processes can also help the LTO improve transparency and accountability, as it reduces the opportunities for corruption and human error.