After years of continuous increase in road traffic fatalities (from 6806 in 2006 to 10 012 in 2015), bringing it as the fifth leading cause of mortality in the Philippines, and human error, identified as the top cause of road crashes in Metro Manila, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) implemented the Public Utility Drivers Academy Program.
The LTFRB has observed that numerous complaints, both from passengers and other road users, are being filed on a daily basis against drivers and conductors of public utility vehicles (PUVs) involving arrogance, discourtesy, overcharging, refusal to convey, recklessness and other violations of traffic rules. To pro-actively address this, LTFRB in partnership with private institutions, designed PUV Drivers Academy as a one-day training seminar to reform, re-educate and re-orient all PUV drivers on existing traffic and public land transportation rules and regulations, including gender sensitivity, rights of PWDs and Senior Citizens and their proper handling, road discipline, defensive driving, anger management and road safety. Apart from drivers’ education, this platform will also serve as a kind of monitoring system for the LTFRB Board to record drivers’ training programs attended, competency assessment, certifications acquired and traffic violations committed with the end view to sift through and only allow competent PUV drivers on the roads. In six months, since its pilot, there were 2,382 PUV driver-participants in the LTFRB Central Office in Manila who benefitted from the program. Initially, from August to October 2017, about 59 percent of the PUV driver-participants nationwide passed the one-day program. This paper will document the experience of the LTFRB and its partners in implementing this drivers’ education program.