It appears that our representatives in congress are working on a very specific -but very important- piece of legislation.

The bill in question is House Bill 859, and it aims to make specialized training a requirement for professional truck drivers. The author of the bill said that the rules and procedures for accreditation for driving schools do not specifically tackle driving a truck.

“While the regulation of driving schools has significantly improved the education and skills of drivers, truck drivers specifically have to be educated on the intricacies of driving their vehicles in view of their size and weight. This will not only ensure road safety for motorists and the commuting public but also protect and preserve properties from damage or destruction,” said Deputy Speaker Linabelle Ruth Villarica, the author of HB 859.

Moving forward from the initial version of the bill, the House committee on transportation, chaired by Rep. Cesar Sarmiento, has approved the creation of a technical working group (TWG) to consolidate the input from the hearings to tackle HB 859. The specialized training will be conducted by accredited driving schools.

The proposed bill also wants to make the requirements for licenses for professional truck drivers more stringent at the Land Transportation Office (LTO) with the cooperation of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) with special driver's seminars.

There is also a discussion to apply similar measures to the driver's licenses requirements for PUV drivers such as buses and taxis.