LTO seeks to regulate ‘excessive’ driving school fees | Inquirer News

LTO seeks to regulate ‘excessive’ driving school fees

/ 05:05 AM February 27, 2023

Composite photo of interior of car with LTO logo superimposed. STORY: LTO seeks to regulate ‘excessive’ driving school fees

MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Office (LTO) said it was considering standardizing the fees charged to new driver’s license applicants after a lawmaker questioned the “anti-poor” and “very expensive” cost of acquiring the permit.

According to LTO chief Jose Arturo Tugade, the LTO was “not oblivious” to the issue of driving schools charging excessive fees for theoretical and practical driving courses as it was continuously holding consultative meetings to revisit the guidelines.


“The solution we are proposing is a reasonable fee-based structure,” Tugade said at a press briefing on Friday, adding that they were looking into the price and fee buildup of the driving schools.


Under Republic Act No. 10930, the LTO is mandated to implement prerequisites and guidelines that would ensure that only those with “sufficient” driving skills and knowledge of road safety are granted driver’s licenses.

It involved mandatory theoretical and practical examinations, which are offered by private driving schools.


Pampanga Rep. Anna York Bondoc has filed House Resolution No. 751 seeking an inquiry into the “excessive” cost of acquiring the license, which has reached at least P9,500.

“The excessive cost for the acquisition of a new driver’s license impacts and exacts financial hardship and burden upon 50 million Filipinos who are below the age of 25 years old and will be driving for the first time,” she said.

Reacting to this, Tugade, who noted that he also received an inquiry letter from Bondoc, said that the cost was “not antipoor” because the LTO only charges P100 for the application fee of a student permit and P150 for the student permit fee.

“If they would convert the student permit to a [nonprofessional] license, the license fee would be P585, and another P100 for the application fee,” Tugade explained.

But the hefty prices, as pointed out by Bondoc, come from the theoretical driving course (TDC) and practical driving course (PDC), which are both required under the law.

A technical working group from the LTO has been convened to probe the issue, Tugade said, noting that they were revisiting the guidelines and fees charged by the accredited driving schools.

The committee is expected to submit its recommendation by the first week of March.

“March will not end without a solution from the LTO,” Tugade said.

Tugade also said he was told that when RA 10930 was passed, the ideal price agreed upon by driving school associations back in 2019 was around P1,400 to P2,500 for TDC and at most P4,500 for PDC.

He pointed out that LTO had never regulated fees of private businesses since the establishment of the agency so they opted to review the guidelines used by the driving schools and “hopefully find a way to call the attention of those charging exorbitant rates to not abuse” their authority.

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Meanwhile, regional LTO offices have been instructed to offer free TDCs, Tugade said, as they intend to reach down to the barangay level.

“We are coordinating with the local governments and we can deploy trainers there to conduct free theoretical driving courses,” he said.


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TAGS: Anna York Bondoc, Land Transportation Office

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