Last July 31, 2019, House Bill (HB) 3196—otherwise known as the “Mandatory Re-Education Program for All Motor Vehicle Drivers Once Every Five Years”— was filed by Representative Lorenz Defensor from the 3rd District of Iloilo. The bill seeks to mandate all licensed drivers accredited by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to undergo a one-day re-education program upon renewal of their licenses.
Months after his bill was filed, Defensor has publicly given his word that he will not renew his professional driver’s license until HB 3196 is passed into law. According to the congressman, he wants to set an example as the author of the said bill and be the first to undergo the re-education program.
“My driver’s license expired last July 24, 2019, my birthday. And I do not intend to renew that until I see that this bill is passed into law because I want to be the first one to undergo the Mandatory Driver’s Re-education Program as an example to all drivers that even members of the House of Representatives are the first to volunteer themselves so this will be followed by everyone—public, private, rich, poor, women, men, young, old,” said Defensor. “Pag ang gumagawa ng batas ang mangunguna na ehemplo, dapat sumunod din ang lahat.”
Under this bill, the LTO will create modules covering different subjects:
- Basic LTO policies
- Road safety
- Road rage, anger management, and attitudinal driving
- Traffic signs and road pavements
- Other subject areas necessary for road discipline including driver alertness, defensive driving, speed awareness, etc.
Defensor also said this initiative goes hand-in-hand with the government’s infrastructure projects, claiming that educating Filipino drivers would also contribute to alleviating traffic.
“Kahit gaano po kalawak ang ating mga daan, kung ang taong may hawak ng manibela ay hindi naiintindihan ang batas trapiko, ang road safety regulations, tuloy-tuloy po ang paglala ng ating trapiko, tuloy-tuloy po ang aksidente na nakamamatay, at dala ng aksidente na injury and death,” Defensor said.
He emphasized the increasing traffic violations tallied by the LTO in recent years, as well as the frequency of road accidents in 2019. He cited data from the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group which showed 1,186 deaths in 9,663 mishaps that occurred from January to September of this year. He also referenced the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) statistics which revealed that the top cause of road crashes in the metro is human error.
If the bill is passed into law, government officials and employees with driver’s licenses are required to undergo the program within one year of its effectivity, while drivers with professional and non-professional licenses within two and three years, respectively. The LTO may charge fees for the program, but these must be shouldered by all employers and government agencies.
What do you think of this proposed program? Do you think the Congressman’s initiatives will benefit the bill’s enactment into law?