LTO vows solution to driving school’s expensive fees by March
MANILA, Philippines — Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Jay Art Tugade on Friday assured the public that a solution to driving school’s exorbitant fees will be issued by next month.
This came after Pampanga Rep. Anna York Bondoc raised the “costly” and “burdensome” process to get a driver’s license in the country.
“Hindi po matatapos ang buwan ng March, magkakaroon po ng solusyon ang ating LTO,” Tugade said in a press briefing, referring to the issue of expensive charges by driving schools.
(The month of March will not end without a solution from LTO.)
But pending a final fix to the matter, the LTO chief mentioned that among the solutions could be a review of their process for accrediting driving schools and standardizing fees.
“The solution we are proposing is a reasonable, fee-based structure,” he said.
He explained that the LTO has to consider factors such as the cost of minimum wages in a region, electrical rates, and other variables when proposing a possible standard price for driving schools.
He also said that the LTO uses a “Laissez-faire” scheme for driving schools. This system allows the market to decide the driving school’s prices and compete with one another.
Tugade then clarified that getting a driver’s license from the LTO is inexpensive, as it only costs a total of P685 for both the application and license fee.
However, he admitted, the high costs come from driving schools as the amended Republic Act (RA) 10930, or the “Land Transportation and Traffic Code,” in 2019 required theoretical driving courses (TDC) and practical driving courses (PDC).
Tugade disclosed that driving schools had a verbal agreement in 2019 regarding their charges.
“Noong napasa po yung RA 10930, which is the act rationalizing and strengthening the policy regarding driver’s license, ito po ‘yung nag-eextend ng validity ng driver’s license to 10 years — pinasa po ito nung 2019 — nag-meeting po raw ‘yung mga driving schools at doon po nag-agree sila, pero verbally lang po, doon sa rates na i-cha-charge po nila,” he said.
(When RA 10930 was passed, which is the act rationalizing and strengthening the policy regarding driver’s licenses, this one that extended the validity of driver’s licenses to 10 years — this was passed in 2019 — there was reportedly a meeting among driving schools and there they agreed, although verbally, on the rates they will charge.)
According to Tugade, the driving schools agreed in 2019 to charge P1,400 to P2,500 for TDCs and as much as P4,500 for PDCs.