The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) launched Thursday its PUV Drivers’ Academy where more than 50 taxi drivers in Davao City took the one-day mandatory course on road safety and good driving habits seminar.

They are the pioneering class of the LTFRB’s PUV Drivers’ Academy which offers five modules on Certificate of Public Conveyance Terms and Conditions, Road Safety, Road Rage and Anger Management, Traffic Signs and Pavement Markings, and Good Manners on Driving. The registration is free.

LTFRB XI director Teresita Yniguez said the mandatory seminar will cover about 50,000 public utility drivers in the region. Also included are drivers of school and tourist transports. There are about 19,000 public utility units registered with LTFRB.

Yniguez said the drivers will take an examination at the end of the lecture. If they fail in one module they need to re-take it again before they can be given certification of completion which qualifies them to drive public utility vehicles.

Yniguez said the drivers who passed the examination will be issued an ID with a validity of one year. After the IDs expiration, the drivers will undergo a re-training before their IDs are renewed. The ID fee has yet to be determined by LTFRB central office.

According to Yniguez, the operator of the public utility vehicle will be fined P5,000 per violation if their drivers did not undergo the mandatory seminar.

Yniguez said the seminar is aimed at providing skills for the public utility drivers on road safety. She said the modules are developed by the Ateneo de Manila, Dela Salle, the University of the Philippines, Automobile Association of the Philippines, and the Land Transportation Office (LTO). Each are represented to speak in the seminar.

During the opening, Yniguez asked the participants not to degrade themselves as mere drivers although they need to their upgrade skills.

She said Davao drivers should be proud of themselves that they are better in terms of manners compared to their counterparts in Manila. “Being a driver is a noble profession,” she said.

Yniguez hoped such good impression will remain for Davao drivers. Taxi driver Aurelio Pellerin has no complaints undergoing the seminar but he was surprised there is an exam at the end of the seminar.

He admitted he did not know there is an exam. “Paningkamutan na lang nako ni makapasa (I will just try my best to pass),” said Pellerin who has been a taxi driver for 14 years.

The mandatory road safety seminar is implemented nationwide by LTFRB.

LTFRB Chair Martin Delgra said the academy is not just being launched, but a start of one of the major programs of the agency.

“This program aims to upgrade the competence and skills and enhance the character of our public utility drivers all over the country,’ he said.

Delgra hopes LTFRB will achieve its mission if ensuring safe, convenient and reliable public transport by investing on the drivers. (LCM/PNA)

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