Licenses to Kill

My non-professional driver’s license is worth 1,200.26 pesos to be exact, and it’s not worth it!

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) Regional desk in San Fernando, Pampanga is the worst government agency I have been through. July 22 and 23 were the most tiring day for first half of 2008 for me because of my experience at LTO. I came to LTO at around 7:00 in the morning of July 22 and I got my license at 3:30 pm of the next day.

It all started when I had to file an affidavit of loss because I was not able to keep the receipt of my Student Permit. Then I had to go through a medical check-up, a drug test, and some paperwork. All seemed pretty well and I thought I could finish everything before lunchtime; but I was wrong.

Due to technical problems (computer glitch), I had to come back the next day. I thought I would be able to get my license faster because I was able to accomplish some requirements the previous day. To my surprise, I had to experience falling in line again, waiting for an hour for my name, taking a “fake” test, and paying more money.

All LTO employees look very annoyed. They are not courteous and they seem very relaxed. With almost a hundred people waiting for the release of their licenses, it was obvious that all employees did not have any sense of urgency.

No seminar was given. Tests were faked (non-pro examiners only answered 7 out of 40 questions and pro examiners are required to answer 12 out of about 60 questions). This is the proof why the streets of the Philippines are filled with undisciplined and stupid drivers (especially jeepney drivers) who are not aware of traffic signs, regulations and defensive driving. I had to pay an extra 300 Php so as not to take the practical test. LTO’s pathetic reasons for doing these came straight from their employees’ mouths: Kapag nag-test kayo, hindi tayo matatapos at siguradong walang papasa dahil mahirap ang test. (If you take the exam, we will not be able to finish on time and no one will pass, too. The test is difficult.) LTO is practically giving away licenses to kill. Anyone can get a license for a price.

Now I have my non-professional driver’s license which will expire on my 23rd birthday. I hope by that time, LTO has changed.

Breakdown of license fees:

Php 100 (Affidavit of loss)

150 (Medical check-up)

250 (Drug test)

300 (fixer, who is an LTO employee) for not taking practical test

340.26 (actual price of license)

60 (so-called dup. Cert)

Thank you to my new friends, namely, Amy, Myel, and Rodel.

To my officemate Doods, I appreciate your dad’s letter which I actually didn’t use. I dared to get hold of my license on my own and here’s the price.