PUV drivers certification underway

11 December 2011

Aimed at ensuring safety behind the wheels, assessment and certification of the country's 55,000 public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers gets underway.

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) recently signed a memorandum of agreement to jointly undertake the assessment and certification of the country’s PUV drivers.

TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said the joint program targets to certify all drivers on or before 2013, the deadline set by the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC).

"It's high time we upgrade the skills of our public utility vehicle drivers and professionalize their ranks to be at par with international standards,” Villanueva said.

“Making them undergo an assessment and certifying them later on will give them the badge that they are at their best element when behind the wheels. Responsible and skilled drivers will save properties and lives, and will result to less chaos in the streets,” Villanueva added.

Under the agreement, LTFRB is tasked to issue an announcement for all PUV operators to require their drivers to secure a Driving National Certificate III from TESDA.

TESDA, after consultation with LTFRB and sector representatives, will identify and accredit assessment centers and assessors who will conduct the assessment to test whether the drivers are qualified to be given the National Certificate.

Upon the recommendation of the LTFRB, TESDA may also cancel or revoke the certificate if the driver has committed violations or acts resulting to serious injury, loss of life or damage to property or the environment.

TESDA will maintain an online registry of PUV drivers, who were issued certification as well as those certificates who have been revoked or cancelled.

The need to have the drivers certified by TESDA was raised early this year following the spate of road tragedies that killed dozens of passengers.

In April, the DOTC issued a department order instructing the LTFRB to include compliance with driver proficiency standards.

The success stories of the many people who have benefitted from its two major programs contribute in making TESDA relevant and significant over the years. These are the Philippine TVET Qualification and Certification System, which expands and skills standardization, assessment and certification for middle-level manpower and the Unified TVET Program Registration and Accreditation System (UTPRAS), which ensures that technical vocational education and training programs meet the standards and train for competencies required at the workplace.

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