BEGINNING this month, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) will only accept medical certificates – of those applying or renewing driver’s license – submitted online by medical clinics and practicing physicians registered in the LTO system. This new measure to ensure the genuineness of medical certificates is appropriate and necessary. The main objective is to ensure road safety.
There are simply too many Filipinos out there who take shortcuts or resort to fake or doctored documents whenever they transact business with government and private offices. LTO is right in putting in place the new measure. Clinics, doctors and hospitals that issue medical certificates have legal obligations to the public, and in this situation, to the LTO as the agency of the State that issues driver’s licenses.
This new move by LTO will lessen the kamote and/or other medically unfit drivers on the road ; thus, making our roads safer for the law abiding drivers.
Here in our country, we have a widespread underground industry engaged in the production of fake certificates, identification cards, diplomas, transcripts of records, baptismal records, birth certificates, medical test results, and various other documents. It has become a culture of utter disregard of basic decency and laws of the land. The pervasiveness and proliferation of fake documents forced the LTO to resort to the new measure. Many other government agencies are faced with the same problem of fake documents. Congress passed the Philippine National ID system as one way to address this crucial matter.
Government agencies must now come together to develop common protocols and a centralized, most secure database or network of databases through which all documents for transactions with government offices shall be submitted, processed and stored. The Department of Information and Communications Technology, National Privacy Commission, Philippine Statistics Authority, and other agencies responsible for data must take on this long-term challenge requiring hefty capital, technology, and manpower resources.