President Duterte wants 5-year validity of driver’s licenses, other transport sector upgrades

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday said that he wants the validity of driver’s licenses extended from three years to five years to reduce queuing at the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

Duterte, who has repeated for countless times his distaste for long lines, also said that that he will want queues in rail systems shortened by providing passengers with other areas such as malls to purchase tickets.

“To reduce queuing time from ticketing station, tickets in trains will be made readily available and easily accessible to the riding public in malls and other stalls,” the president said.

He also assured that passenger congestion in railway systems will be addressed by increasing the number of running trains from current 16 trains with a total of 48 cars to 20 trains with a total of 60 cars.

“Procurement of additional trains should be addressed soonest,” Duterte said.

The train speed will also be increased from 40 kph to 60 kph, as previously mentioned by Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade.

Meanwhile, the train’s operating hours will also be extended from 9:30 to 10:30 pm to accommodate more passengers.

As a solution to airport congestion, Duterte said that there will be different approaches considered to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) by using Sangley and Clark airports utilize to shift operations of some domestic and international airlines.

Duterte mentioned a number of viable transport projects he wanted completed during his six-year term such as the Mindanao Rail Project, the Davao Transit System, Cebu Transit System, Panay Railways Project among others. Azer Parrocha/PNA/