SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
Senior students in all private and public secondary schools all over the country may soon acquire the skills and knowledge required in driving a motor vehicle.
Rep. Antonio F. Lagdameo Jr. (2nd District, Davao del Norte) filed House Bill 5425, which seeks the inclusion of the driver's education program in the senior year curriculum to educate the youth on the importance of being responsible drivers.
Lagdameo noted that road accidents are now one of the leading causes of death globally. Hence, there is a need for the youth to ensure their own safety, the safety of their passengers and the pedestrians as well through the driver's education program.
The Mindanao solon said in the Philippines, most deaths in traffic-related accidents are attributable to lack of skills and knowledge in driving in an otherwise demanding road environment.
"According to the data from the Philippine National Police-Traffic Management Group, driving error, overspeeding, using of cell phone while driving, bad overtaking and turning, among others, are the causes road accidents," Lagdameo explained.
He said the Department of Health (DOH) feared that if the problem will not be resolved quickly, road accidents will be the top leading cause of death among Filipinos by the year 2020.
Lagdameo said road accidents and injuries are predictable and preventable and that it is important for every motorist to understand the ways in which road safety can be successfully applied.
"The government must also ensure proper education of the people especially motorists and future drivers regarding road signs, markings and traffic rules and regulations," he said.
Under the bill, the instruction on driver's education shall be taught to senior high school students, ages 16 and above.
The bill states that during the actual driving lessons, the student shall be accompanied by a professional driving instructor who is qualified and accredited by the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and granted a professional driver's license by the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
It further provides that the vehicle that will be used in the driving lessons shall be maintained and equipped by the school where the student is enrolled to ensure the safety of the students.
The measure mandates the Department of Education to adopt course contents standards for the driver's education, which shall include knowledge of the operation and maintenance of motor vehicle, road traffic rules and regulations and mental and physical components of driving.
Likewise, as provided under the bill, students under the driver's education program shall be taught correct eye usage, defensive driving, effects of alcohol, drugs and distraction on the driving task, and trouble shooting skills.
Under the driver's education program, the student shall undergo 10 hours of actual driving and 30 hours of classroom instruction.
Lagdameo said the student driver who will successfully pass the examination including the actual driving test would receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course.
"After receiving the certificate of completion, the student can already get a student driver's permit without taking the regular test required by the LTO," he said.
Lagdameo said the driver's education program would enable the students to assess their attitudes, values and behavior on the road and instill in them the sense of responsibility that comes from acquiring the correct knowledge about driving motor vehicles.