LTO’s new medical certificate form ‘incomplete’
This is about the new medical certificate form that the Land Transportation Office (LTO) requires to be filled out, effective Nov. 15, 2015, as a requirement for the issuance of a driver’s license.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and LTO Assistant Secretary Alfonso Tan may have the best of intentions in providing drivers an easy and convenient route to secure a medical certificate. But the old form was better; it allowed examining physicians to arrive at a correct diagnosis.
Why does the LTO compel physicians to issue a medical certificate solely on the basis of tailor-made printed data that are incomplete, thus a false medical certificate? This can be a valid ground for canceling a physician’s license to practice his profession. And why exclude drug testing from the medical examination notwithstanding the fact that drug addiction is common among accident-prone drivers?
To show the difference between the previous and new medical certificate forms: 1) The new one only asks for the name of the driver; the old form included the driver’s age, address, gender, height, weight, marital status, identification such as resident certificate, etc. 2) The new form no longer requires the driver’s signature, blood-pressure reading, visual acuity test using the Snellen chart to determine the driver’s eyesight condition, the first endorsement of LTO branch chief prior to the conduct of medical examination, and the official receipt of payment by the driver for the medical examination—unlike the old form.
It is of public knowledge that drivers could illegally secure, for a fee, false medical certificates bearing a physician’s name, clinic address, PRC (Professional Regulation Commission)-issued license number, PTR (professional tax receipt) number, etc.—for presentation to the LTO. This was done by unscrupulous individuals in cahoots with LTO personnel.
To be fair to both the Department of Transportation and Communications and the LTO, On Dec. 10, 2015, I wrote the two agencies a letter about this concern. The letter was received on Dec. 14 at the office of lawyer Mark Abaya who responded by urging Tan, in writing, to take immediate action on the matter. Sad to say, there has been no response since then despite my repeated, follow-up phone calls.
I am bringing this appeal to the DOTC and LTO out in the open, as a concerned senior citizen, physician, Mason, civic leader, crusader and a children’s advocate: Revert to the previous medical certificate form which showed complete data. Otherwise, the main objective of conducting a medical examination.
I making this appeal not for me but for all Filipinos, for love of our country.
—NESTOR A. LACEDA SR., MD, Feadco Bldg., 161-A Shaw Blvd. corner JB Vargas Street, Mandaluyong City