A new guideline that will support many student drivers through permanent price caps on driving classes will be implemented by April 15.
The Land Transportation Office (LTO) on March 22 released a memo regarding its maximum prescribed rates that will soon be imposed on driving schools nationwide.
The fees driving school companies can charge motorcycle course with license codes A and A1 cannot exceed P3,500. This includes the theoretical driving course (TDC), priced at P1,000, and the practical driving course (PDC), priced at P2,500.
Meanwhile, the maximum rates for light vehicle courses with license codes B, B1, and B2 is P5,000—P1,000 for the TDC and P4,000 for the PDC.
Failure to comply will result to penalties of P50,000 fine and suspension of six months for the first offense, P100,000 fine and one year suspension for the second offense, and revocation of accreditation for the third and final offense.
LTO chief Jose Arturo Tugade said in a press briefing that this is in response to the citizens' concerns on the ballooning costs of driving classes.
"Nabuo ang maximum prescribed rates na ito bilang tugon sa apela ng marami nating kababayan na umiiyak sa mataas na singilin pero maituturing din itong patas na hakbang para sa driving schools na namuhunan din," he said.
Tugade said that rates were studied well "to make sure that driving institutions still get a fair return of investments and at the same time make it affordable to the public.”
Furthermore, he noted that the mandatory 15-hour TDC can now be completed in at least 2 days within a month—7 hours to be conducted during the first day, while the other 8 hours on the second day.
Those taking PDC "shall not be less than 8 hours per driver’s license code applied for." Motorcycles, meanwhile, may do it in one day "provided that the student-driver has proven to have already acquired the knowledge based on the assessment by a practical driving instructor."
The LTO has also ordered driving schools to use the Land Transportation Management System when encoding the details of their applicants in light of some "non-appearance" issues.
"The Driving Institution shall provide and maintain an attendance sheet to record the actual presence of the applicant during the conduct of the face-to-face TDC and written examination or validation."
Once finished and passed, the applicant will be given a Certificate of Course Completion.