Driver’s exam in local dialects soon

MANILA – The driver’s license exam is set to be translated into more local languages to help those unfamiliar with English and Filipino.

In a message on Tuesday, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assistant Secretary for Communications Goddes Hope Libiran said the translation of the driver’s exam would initially be made in several of the major regional languages but will eventually include all major languages and dialects in the country.

“Lahat ng major dialects, but uunahin sa ngayon ‘yung (All major dialects, but we’ll begin with) Ilocano, Ilonggo, Bisaya, Tausug, and Bicolano,” Libiran said.

Apart from the different languages to be used in the exams, its content will also differ per region as the questions will be chosen randomly from a pool of questions set by the Land Transportation Office (LTO), she added.

“Magkakaiba nga lang ‘yung questions per region dahil ‘yung mga (The questions will differ per region because the) questions to be included are randomly chosen by the computer for printing,” Libiran said.

Under Department Order 2020-03 signed on February 14, the DOTr “recognizes the need to afford examinees the opportunity to fully comprehend the Driver’s License Examination.”

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the order was issued upon the suggestion of Davao Oriental 2nd District Rep. Joel Mayor Almario.

Tugade said the exam should not be limited to its current form — in English and Filipino — as many examinees in the Visayas and Mindanao are more familiar with their dialects while some may not understand English and Filipino at all.

“I instructed the LTO, all examinations shall now be done in English, Tagalog, or the local language of the examinee,” he said.

The DOTr said regional offices of the LTO would have 30 days to provide a translation of the driver’s exam in their respective dialects from the effectivity of the order, 15 days from its publication in the Official Gazette or in a public newspaper.

LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante said the LTO has already formed teams to translate the exams into each of the major dialects, with each draft to be validated by experts.

“We have already created a team for each of the 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,” Galvante said.The DOTr said the order complies with Article 14, Section 7 of the 1987 Constitution, which states that “the regional dialect is the auxiliary official dialect in the regions and shall serve as auxiliary media of instruction therein.” (PNA)

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