22 May 2022 – Secretary Jeremiah B. Belgica, Director General of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), recommended the imposition of stricter regulation and one-strike policy for driving schools and private companies assisting fixers in their illegal activities.
This, after a series entrapment operations and investigations, conducted by ARTA and the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), at several Land Transportation Office (LTO) branches, revealed that most fixing activities involved collusion among LTO employees, driving schools, emission centers, and medical clinics.
He proposed the suspension of 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, trainings, evaluations, exams, or emission testing. This ensures that those seeking licenses are aware of traffic laws and that vehicles are roadworthy,” the ARTA chief said.
The recommendations were formally submitted to Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade through a letter sent on Thursday, 19 May 2022.
ARTA Sec. Belgica’s other recommendations include stringent investigation and scrutiny of driver’s license and vehicle registration process, including private entity accreditation. Also part of the recommendation is 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,” Belgica added.
The Authority’s operations and crackdown against fixers have been in coordination with the central offices of LTO and DOTr.
Just last Tuesday, a releasing officer assigned at the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Novaliches, Quezon City was arrested for illegal fixing services to applicants of student permits.