THE Land Transportation Office (LTO) warned accredited doctors and medical clinics to immediately stop their “no show” activity or face suspension or permanent closure.
LTO Chief Assistant Secretary Jose Arturo “Jay Art” Tugade issued the warning after receiving reports that certain medical clinics and doctors issue medical certificates to driver’s license applicants without any actual physical examination.
“My marching orders to all regional and district offices nationwide was to weed out corruption not only in LTO offices themselves but also those in accredited partners like medical clinics, whose services are part of the process for securing driver’s licenses or motor vehicle registration,” explains Tugade.
He added that the medical certificate is a vital part of the driver’s license application process to determine if the applicant can operate a motor vehicle.
“We continue to remind the public that a driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle is not a right but a privilege granted by the government. No one should circumvent the process in the issuance of a driver’s license, and the job of the LTO is to make sure that it is issued only to qualified drivers as part of promoting road safety,” the LTO chief added.
Tugade cited the case of a medical clinic in Bacolod City, which was slapped with a 60-day suspension order by LTO Region 6 after it was reported that the clinic issued too many medical certificates in a single day.
Aside from closure, the clinic was also deactivated from the LTO IT system.
The closure order was given after the Regional Assessment and Compliance Monitoring Team (RACMT) headed by LTO Region 6 Assistant Regional Director Atty. Gaudioso Geduspan II reported that the clinic issued as many as “186 medical certificates in a single day.”
Before the closure, a show cause order was issued against the medical clinic to explain why it issued many medical certificates, which were perceived to be “statistically improbable.”
The clinic’s management, through its legal counsel, explained that it usually experiences a large volume of clients daily, most of whom line up as early as 6:30 a.m.
To confirm whether the clinic’s claim was true or not, a RACMT member went to the clinic and posed as a client and tried to secure a medical certificate.
The poseur-client saw that there were only a few people at the clinic and was surprised at how fast the certificate was issued, complete with the stamped name and signature of the accredited doctor, even without a physical examination, which violates LTO Memorandum Circular 2018-2157.
This prompted LTO Region 6 to issue a “Notice of Violation/Cease-and-Desist Order” for both the clinic and the doctor whose stamped name and signature appeared on the medical certificate.