MANILA - Applicants in provinces may soon find their driver's licensure exam in their own dialect, after the Land Transportation Office (LTO) was directed to translate its tests to different languages, besides the standard Filipino and English versions.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, in a department order issued last Feb. 14, directed LTO "to make the driver’s licensure exam available in English, Filipino or the language most common in the region," where applicants are taking the exam.
“In the interest of justice and for the effective enforcement of land transportation laws, the DOTr (Department of Transportation) recognizes the need to afford examinees the opportunity to fully comprehend the Driver’s License Examination," the Department Order 2020-003 stated.
DOTR said the order complies with Article 14, Section 7 of the 1987 Constitution, which says that "for purposes of communication and instruction, the official dialect of the Philippines are Filipino and, until otherwise provided by law, English. The regional dialect are the auxiliary official dialect in the regions and shall serve as auxiliary media of instruction therein."
The order will take effect 15 days following its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation, the department said, giving LTO regional offices 30 days to provide a translation of the exam in their respective language or dialect upon the mandate's effectivity.
LTO chief Edgar Galvante said he has ordered the agency to create a team for each of the Philippine major dialects.
"The assigned team will translate the driver’s license examination. The translation will be checked by experts of the language to ensure that the terms are accurate and official," he said in a statement.
Tugade earlier said the mandate aims to put into consideration exam takers from the Visayas and Mindanao, where some cannot understand English or Filipino.
"The written examination for driver's license should not be limited to two languages, English and Filipino. What if they will conduct the test in Visayas and in Mindanao, and those poor countrymen of mine cannot understand Tagalog and cannot fully understand English?" Tugade said during a forum last month.