More thorough screening needed

THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez - The Freeman

The viral video of a Joanna Jesh bus plowing through several orange plastic barriers along EDSA has revealed a secret that the driver would rather not have gone public. Apparently, the driver of the bus failed the professional licensing exam three times, before finally passing. But the incident only shows that he is neither competent to drive a public utility vehicle, nor have any sense at all regarding safety. The barriers littered EDSA between Buendia and Ayala. It is fortunate that no one was hurt, no other vehicle was damaged nor involved in a separate accident. 

The driver presented himself to authorities days after the incident, thanks to social media. He claims he was unfairly judged as he has not even given his side of the story. But the fact that it took him a day or two come forward reeks of a rehearsed explanation. According to witnesses, he was apparently racing with another bus. The Yellow Line rule for buses is now strictly enforced, giving the outer two lanes all to themselves. Probably why they saw it fit to engage in a race.

According to the driver, he was not racing another bus, instead, the said bus cut him off, forcing him to swerve to the left and hit the barriers. But not according to the witnesses, and the video. He was traveling fast, and there indeed was another bus next to him. Why would the driver of the other bus cut him off if they were not engaging in some sort of race or one-upmanship? And the logical thing to do would be to slow down and let the offending bus pass if he wasn't interested in racing him.

The driver is now facing a possible cancellation of his license. It has also brought to light the current system of issuing professional licenses to drivers. If the said driver has already flunked three times, shouldn't he be required to attend some seminars or refresher course before applying again? Doctors and lawyers who do not pass their respective licensing exams a number of times are required to attend refresher courses. Rightly so. These are professionals, and by the mere definition of the word, they are supposed to be proficient, qualified, experts, certified in their respective fields of endeavor. I ask the question, if you knew a commercial pilot who flunked his pilot's license three times was your captain, would you still be at ease flying? Same thing for a doctor, lawyer, dentist, engineer, architect and so on.

Obviously the LTO must come up with a more thorough method of screening applicants of professional licenses. It is no secret that many drivers are able to get their licenses because they know someone at the LTO who can waive the exams that they will surely fail. The driver of the bus probably did not know anyone from the LTO, which is why he had to take the exam, and flunk three times. That should have raised red flags. Instead, he was given his license, and now it is in danger of being cancelled.

It was never meant for him.




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