The Land Transportation Office has dropped the periodic medical exam (PME) requirement in order to renew a driver's license for existing holders.
The office previously obligated citizens to accomplish the PME to receive or renew their driver's license, regardless if it has a five-year or 10-year validity.
The removal of the requirement is in accordance with agency chief Jay Art Tugade's directive to amend the LTO Memorandum Circular 2021-2285 or the Supplemental Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 10930.
The earlier memorandum required applicants to undergo regular medical examinations to obtain or renew their driver's license, on top of the PME.
Tugade said their latest decision was based on research, collected data, and consultations. These led the LTO to conclude that the PME had no correlation with vehicular accidents.
“There’s no empirical data saying that the period medical examination could prevent road crashes,” Tugade said.
Based on the new policy, applicants must only take one mandatory medical examination whenever they obtain or renew their driver's license.
“For licenses who will be issued a 5-year validity driver’s license and 10-year validity driver’s license, the medical examination shall only be required sixty (60) days prior to or on the specified renewal date,” according to the LTO chief's memorandum.
For Filipinos with driver's licenses but work or live in other countries, they will be required to take a medical examination within 30 days upon their arrival in the Philippines until they are permitted to drive.
"Kami sa LTO ay naniniwala na ang hakbang na ito ay magdudulot ng bahagyang ginhawa sa publiko dahil bukod sa hindi na sila kailangang gumastos ng paulit-ulit para sa medical examinations, maiiwasan din ang dagdag-abala lalo na sa mga mahahalaga ang oras para sa trabaho. Nasa pagkukusa na lang ngayon ng bawat indibidwal kung nanaisin nilang sumalang sa medical examination,” Tugade concluded.