House polishes bill on mandatory specialized training for truck drivers

Rep. Sarmiento approves creation of TWG to deliberate measures on truck-driver education

To further promote road safety, the House of Representatives has approved the creation of a technical working group (TWG) to deliberate on a measure seeking to require driver’s education for professional truck drivers.

The House committee on transportation, chaired by Rep. Cesar Sarmiento (Lone District, Catanduanes), has commended the creation of the TWG that will incorporate and harmonize the inputs gathered during the committee hearings on House Bill 859, proposing mandatory specialized education for professional truck drivers to be conducted by accredited driving schools.

Deputy Speaker Linabelle Ruth Villarica, author of the bill, said that current rules and procedure for accreditation for driving schools do not include truck driver’s education.

“While the regulation of driving schools has significantly improved the education and skills of drivers, truck drivers specifically have to be educated on the intricacies of driving their vehicles in view of their size and weight. This will not only ensure road safety for motorists and the commuting public but also protect and preserve properties from damage or destruction,” said Villarica.

The 2016 data of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) shows that motorcycles are accounted for the highest fatal crash rate with 218 cases, followed by trucks (103), and cars (98). For accidents involving damage to property, cars accounted for the highest rate with 100,665 cases, followed by trucks with 18,052.

Apart from educating professional truck drivers, the proposal also aims to strengthen the existing licensing requirement of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) requiring certification of passing the driver’s seminar by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for application or renewal of professional truck driver’s license.

In line with the House Bill 859, the TWG will consider other suggestions from resource persons, like the addition of neuropsychiatric testing on top of training and education.

Likewise, the TWG is also expected to tackle the question on whether or not to expand the coverage of the bill to cover drivers of other public utility vehicles such as taxis, buses, jeepney, and UV Express drivers.