CEBU CITY – At least 2,547 individuals have finished a driving course offered free of charge by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Central Visayas through its Malasakit Driver’s Education Center (DEC) in just eight months of operation.
In a statement Wednesday, LTO-7 regional director Victor Emmanuel Caindec said the Theoretical Driving Course (TDC) of the LTO-7 has collectively served a scholarship value of over PHP7 million since it was launched in October last year.
As of end May 2021, it has recorded a total of 2,547 graduates of the driving course.
Caindec said 22 municipalities in Cebu province had been served by LTO-7’s DEC project.
“As of this week, the Malasakit Bus DEC has crossed over to Bohol province with five LGUs (local government units) already pre-scheduled,” he said.
In 2020, LTO-7’s TDC scholarship produced a total of 923 graduates.
For January to May 2021 period, a total of 1,624 graduated from the agency’s TDC scholarship.
Caindec said the Malasakit Bus DEC has recorded more graduates compared to those that took the course at the agency’s DEC located along N. Bacalso Avenue here.
He said they have limited the scholars or students to five slots per week but they have added more slots since March this year due to the limited capacity of their classroom at the agency’s N. Bacalso office.
“When we started in October, we could only accommodate very limited scholars due to the implementation also of the physical distancing but we have opened a bigger classroom which can accommodate up to 25 per week,” Caindec said.
The Duterte People’s Hall in the agency’s N. Bacalso office is a bigger classroom for the DEC’s TDC.
Under LTO Memorandum 2019-2176, all applicants of student permit are required to undergo a 15-hour TDC.
Caindec said over 36,000 individuals benefited from LTO 7’s ePatrol, the mobile service facility of the regional agency.
The ePATROL was launched in February 2019 which offered mobile TDC, vehicle registration, and renewal, license renewal, student permit issuance, and printing of driver’s license cards with five-year validity.
“Through the Malasakit Program, LTO-7 has brought its services to far-flung areas whose constituencies were previously unserved, such as the mountain towns of Kanlaon and Guihulngan in Negros Oriental, the midlands municipalities of Carmen and Danao in Bohol, and even Tudela, a small town in the island of Camotes, which is normally accessible via Ormoc,” Caindec added. (PNA)