The new requirement of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) for aspiring drivers and riders to complete a 15-hour theoretical driving course before they can be issued a student permit must be causing a headache for many people. Because certain areas could once again be put under lockdown depending on the COVID-19 situation, such activities are easily disrupted. So, we have to adapt to the new norm.
This is the main reason many driving schools have prepared an LTO-compliant online theoretical driving course to allow students to complete the training—with or without quarantine restrictions. All signs show that this could be the new normal for student drivers.
Because it is the pacesetter among the driving institutions in the country, we again knocked on the door of Honda Safety Driving Center (HSDC) to know what it has prepared for the student drivers and riders. General manager Jun Lomibao was kind enough to share with us eight important facts about HSDC’s online theoretical driving/riding course. Read before you enroll:
1) There’s no fee hike.
The fee for online sessions is the same as that for the face-to-face setup. Here’s good news from HSDC: It’s offering a promo price of P1,600 for the course, although the regular enrollment fee will revert to the regular P1,800 to P2,000 once the promo period is over.
2) Three sessions last for three days.
The HSDC conducts training five hours a day for three days in accordance with the LTO Memorandum Circular No. 2019-2176. There are three to four virtual training sessions per day with a maximum of 40 students per session.
3) Be ready with the requirements.
The LTO requires enrollees to secure a copy of their birth certificate issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and any government-issued identification card. Check out the full list here.
4) Exams are not only online.
Under the LTO’s policy, there should be an exam for every session, so HSDC conducts three tests—two online and a final exam inside the classroom.
5) Any computer platform is accepted.
The student can either use a laptop or desktop computer, or go to an Internet shop to access the online course. All that’s needed is a good Internet signal for uninterrupted sessions. Due to the high demand for the theoretical driving course, HSDC is open almost seven days a week in some months.
6) Students who pass get a diploma.
HSDC provides a certificate of completion to students who pass the exams. Students can also request a hard copy with a corresponding fee.
7) Health protocols are strictly observed.
Aside from wearing a face mask and face shield, and regularly using sanitizers, students who enter the training facility must present a medical certificate.
8) Recording of sessions is not allowed.
The training modules and programs are covered by the Intellectual Property Code. Any copying, reproduction, and distribution of HSDC’s training modules, which is patterned on Honda Japan’s high standards, is strictly prohibited; after all, HSDC spent four months coming up with a virtual training module that underwent a series of pilot runs afterwards. So, if you miss a session without giving a valid reason, that’s it.
We asked Lomibao one more question: Which is more challenging for the HSDC staff, Virtual or face-to-face sessions? “Virtual is challenging in terms of technology used,” he said. “But it has a lot of disadvantages in terms of direct interactions. You can’t predict customer reactions, agreement, or disagreement due to multiple locations.”
Are you ready to enroll soon?
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopBikes.ph. Minor edits have been made.