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The Land Transportation Office (LTO) now requires applicants for student driver permits to undergo a 15-hour Theoretical Driving Courses (TDCs).

And before these student drivers can apply for a non-professional driver’s license, they also need to undergo an eight-hour Practical Driving Courses (PDCs).

But even with those certificates, applicants for new driver’s licenses still must pass written and practical tests administered by the LTO.

Applicants can take the courses at LTO-accredited driving schools or at Driver Education Centers the LTO is establishing at regional offices and branches nationwide.

The courses at LTO-DECs come for free or at very minimal fees that cover instructional materials.

The courses at LTO-accredited driving schools are expensive, running into the thousands and even tens of thousands of pesos.

The LTO-DECs are too few in numbers to accommodate everyone. That leaves expensive driving schools that are required to transmit PDC certificates electronically or online to the LTO-IT System.

People are complaining about pricey driving schools.

Now the LTO may have found a solution that will help mitigate the problem.

The LTO is partnering with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to standardize the courses for educating and training drivers especially those who would make it a profession.

A memorandum of agreement between the two will authorize TESDA and its training centers to offer Theoretical Driving and Practical Driving Courses equivalent to those being offered by the LTO Driver’s Education Centers.

With TESDA more people can avail of free or less costly driver training courses.

Perhaps automotive manufacturers can also be encouraged to help in this initiative. One way is by providing the vehicles needed for practical training. Government should be thinking of incentives for automakers or distributors to join in efforts to ensure more competent, courteous and conscientious drivers are on the road.

Congrats, HFA winners

Congratulations are certainly warranted for winners of the 20th Henry Ford Awards which recognize excellence and professionalism in Philippine automotive journalism.

Special mention should be made of the five awardees of  the new Go Further Changemaker Award, who who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help his or her fellow countrymen at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

These are James Deakin for his “One for the Road Initiative;” Monch Henares for his “Masked Crusader Initiative”; Ardie Lopez for his “I’ll Hold the Line Song Composition” in honor of frontliners; Anjo Perez for his “Food for the Heroes Initiative,” and Mike Potenciano,” for his “Toy Run Initiative.”

The other winners are: 

Automotive Column, Driving Our Agnes in the Time of COVID -Monsi Serrano for PhilBiz News;

Automotive Green Feature, This Car Needs No Roads -Ronald Delos Reyes for Daily Tribune;

Automotive Industry Feature, The Pragmatic SUV -Randy Peregrino for BusinessMirror;

Automotive Online Feature. Benjamin Dimson: How a Filipino Artist Built a Career Designing Porsches and Mercs-Vince Pornelos for AutoIndustriya;

Automotive Online Lifestyle Feature, The ABC’s of ABS, EBD, ESP, ETC-Manny de los Reyes for 2nd Opinion;

Automotive Photograph, Golden Blossoms -Arabelle Jimenez for Motourismo

Automotive Print Feature, What Happens When Cheap Oil Meets A Pandemic-Eric Tipan for Manila Bulletin;

Automotive Print Lifestyle Feature, Anger Management in 2 Hybrids-Teresa Salazar for Philippine Daily Inquirer;

Automotive Road Safety Feature, How to Properly and Safely Disinfect Your Car Interior-Julian Panlilio for AutoPH;

Automotive Technology Feature, Do Expiry Dates for Child Restraints Really Matter?-Froilan Bacungan Jr. for VERA Files;

Automotive Video Feature, Understanding the Mild Hybrid Geely Azkarra-Vince Pornelos for AutoIndustriya;

Ford Automotive Feature, I Think My Father’s Ford Mustang Died With Him-Vernon Sarne for Visor;

Ford Automotive Video Feature, Behind the Wheel: 2020 Ford F150 Review-Caco Tirona for AutoDeal;

Best Automotive Section for Broadsheet, Philippine Daily Inquirer; and

Best Automotive Website, Top Gear Philippines.

Congratulations to all our friends who make all motoring media proud.

Isuzu Tagum opens

Also deserving of congratulations is Image Motors Davao del Norte, Inc. headed by its president Walter Alvarez and managing director Edward Bangayan.

Image Motors Davao del Norte has formally opened its newest dealership, Isuzu Tagum, located strategically at Brgy. Canocotan, along the road that connects to three major road network systems in Mindanao—the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway, the Davao-Mati-Agusan Road, and the Davao-Bukidnon Road.

At the opening, Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) president Hajime Koso praised Isuzu Tagum’s leadership for perseverance and grit to open the important dealership as scheduled even amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Tagum has emerged into a booming city with a strong economic development brought by different businesses citywide. It has become inevitable for IPC to set foot here, so that we can cater to more customers in the region,” Koso said.

The Isuzu Tagum dealership is a 5,000-square meter facility that features the latest Isuzu Outlet Standard (IOS) showroom design and a large service shop that can cater to nine light commercial vehicles and four trucks all at the same time.

New Hino truck

Hino Motors Philippines (HMP) continues to support the logistics industry, which in these COVID-19 times, plays a vital role in sustaining both the economy and consumers.

HMP has launched the all-new Hino 300 Series, a light-duty truck that should serve a thriving e-commerce industry well.

“With the introduction of our all-new Hino 300 Series, we hope to not only support local suppliers and retailers in responding to the current demands of the market but also to help them in expanding to other businesses and finding new opportunities,” said HMP president Mitsuharu Tabata.

The all-new Hino 300 Series, which comes in the narrow and wide cab variants, is now available in all Hino 3S dealerships nationwide.

Happy Motoring!!!

For comments & inquiries email [email protected] or visit www.motoringtoday.ph.

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