Following a series of deadly road crash traced mostly to reckless driving, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) issued a reminder to all bus companies to ensure that their drivers have been assessed and certified by the agency to guarantee their passengers' safety on the road.
"The aim is reduced, if not zero accidents as they ply the roads and take their passengers to their destination," TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said.
Bus drivers who have passed the assessment will be issued the National Certificate III by TESDA.
Starting 2011, the Land Transportation Office and the Department of Transportation and Communications mandated all bus drivers in Metro Manila to secure an NC III before they can drive.
TESDA has been assisting bus companies to develop their capability to train and assess their drivers as it aims to get them all certified.
The agency's Training Regulations for Driving NC II and NC III provides the minimum standard for the training and assessment of drivers of buses, trucks and other vehicles.
"Training should be continuous because every day, the drivers' skills are put to test on the road. Drivers can't take chances and always rely on instincts because the safety of their passengers are at stake," Villanueva said.
The core competencies of the Driving NC III course are: Perform Minor Maintenance and Servicing on Vehicles Classified under LTO Restriction Codes 3 up to 5; Perform Pre-and Post Operation Procedures Vehicles Classified under LTO Restriction Codes 3 up to 5; Obey and Observe Traffic Rules and Regulations; Observe Road Health and Safety Practices; Implement and Coordinate Accident-Emergency Procedures; Drive Passenger Bus and; Drive Straight Truck.
Road accidents involving buses have recently figured in the news headlines, prompting authorities to mete out harsh penalties to the bus companies involved.
Last Thursday, February 5, a Dela Rosa Transit bus hit and almost flattened a Toyota Vios along the northbound lane of Edsa in Quezon City.
A total of 48 passengers were hurt when a passenger bus fell off a cliff along National Highway in Barangay Awa, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur last February 2. END