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Examining the requirement

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The Land Transportation Office has scrapped the additional periodic medical examination requirement for holders of driver’s licenses with five to ten-year validity, after LTO head Art Jay Tugade amended memorandum 2021-2285, or the supplemental Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 10930, which extended the validity of drivers’ licenses.

“There’s no empirical data saying that the periodic medical examination could prevent road crashes,” Tugade said.

Instead, for licenses issued with five-year and ten-year validity, the medical examination shall only be required 60 days prior to or on the specified renewal date.

Under the previous memorandum, those with a driver’s license with five-year validity are required to undergo a medical exam by third birthdate from getting the license, while those with ten-year valid licenses should undergo a medical examination on the fourth and seventh birthdate from when they obtained their license.

Tugade believes the amendment will bring ease financially and will save drivers’ time.

This amendment comes after the LTO’s earlier memorandum imposing a price cap for driving schools that took effect on April 15.

The LTO medical examination requirement has already been described as a borderline scam in the past, due to the arbitrariness of its implementation where in some cases a doctor conducts an “eye” test that basically involves simply taking a look at the applicant before giving clearance for driver’s license renewal. Before adding it as an additional requirement, the LTO should instead be finding ways to make the medical examination more relevant and foolproof, so it really adds an additional layer that ensures the safety of our roads by weeding out those that are quantitatively medically unfit to drive.

This review of the requirements is hopefully a start in the right direction.*

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