Monday, January 3, 2011

TESDA to provide free trainings for 50,000 PUV drivers

At least 50,000 drivers of public utility vehicles will be given free trainings in a bid to ensure the safety of their future passengers and improve road safety, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) said it is willing to provide technical assistance for this. 

In a statement, TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said it made this commitment because of the string of vehicular accidents that occurred over the holidays, and as a response to a request of the Department of Transportation and Communications.

Villanueva explained that in Nov. 2010, Transportation Secretary Jose “Ping" de Jesus wrote him a letter asking if TESDA could certify more than 50,000 bus and truck drivers nationwide in the next two years.

"We gave our commitment to provide technical assistance for these drivers," he said. “We welcome the proposal considering this recent series of road accidents." 

TESDA and the DOTC are set to meet this month to flesh out the training program, Villanueva said.

According to the DOTC, 85 percent of road accidents are "driver-related," indicating a lack of skills by drivers. 

“Thus, it is important to assess their (drivers) capability on the road," Villanueva said.

The TESDA chief, however, said that private operators and traffic enforcers should also take part in the project. 

"They should do their share of educating and training their drivers to guarantee that they can safely ferry their passengers and cargoes to their destination," he said.

If the proposal pushes through, drivers would have to undergo trainings at either TESDA schools or accredited private driving schools. Either way, they must still be assessed by TESDA, Villanueva said.

A three-way collision along STAR Tollway in Batangas on Sunday killed seven members of a family who were on their way to Manila. 

Last week, a road accident in Sta. Rosa, Laguna killed six people in a jeepney, and the week before that, a bus collided with a car along Commonwealth Avenue, killing a retired Makati City Regional Trial Court judge and his wife who were on their way to midnight Mass. —Kimberly Jane Tan/DM/KBK, GMANews.TV

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