Less than a month after being appointed as the new head honcho of the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Chief Assistant Secretary Jay Art Tugade is looking at not just solving the many problems of the agency, but also weeding out the controversies happening outside the LTO premises.

Specifically, the LTO Chief is pointing at the medical clinics and doctors that give out instant med certs for driver's license applications and renewal purposes, or those that issue certificates without actual physical examinations.

In order to obtain or apply for a driver's license, one needs to secure a medical certificate from a medical clinic or a doctor accredited by the LTO. This certifies that the applicant is fit to operate a motor vehicle. But the LTO has found out the underlying problem we've been seeing for the longest time – not all those accredited clinics actually go through the process of doing any physical examinations of applicants, and resort to just collecting fees.

LTO: Clinics, doctors issuing instant med certs to face suspension, closure image

Such is the case of a medical clinic in Bacolod City which was confirmed to have done a shortcut on the physical examination process. The clinic was slapped with a 60-day suspension order by LTO Region 6 and was also deactivated from the LTO IT system.

“We continue to remind the public that a driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle is not a right but a privilege granted by the government. No one should circumvent the process in the issuance of a driver’s license, and the job of the LTO is to make sure that it is issued only to qualified drivers as part of promoting road safety” said LTO Chief Tugade.

While the LTO may be facing an uphill battle with these issues, it will be us who will reap the benefits if they succeed. Think of this - you wouldn't want to come across a motorist ramming you on a traffic stop because he's color blind, right?