MANILA – The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has recommended a stricter regulation and one-strike policy for driving schools and private companies assisting fixers in their illegal activities.

A series of entrapment operations and investigations, conducted by ARTA and the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group In Land Transportation Office (LTO) branches, revealed that most fixing activities involved collusion among LTO employees, driving schools, emission centers, and medical clinics.

Operations and crackdown against fixers were made after coordination with the central offices of LTO and the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

Secretary Jeremiah Belgica, Director General of ARTA, proposed the suspension of driving schools and private companies with substantiated complaints or prohibited practices while under investigation.

"Through this approach, private accredited companies are constrained to go through the process of determining an individual's driving ability by implementing seminars, lectures, trainings, evaluations, exams, or emission testing. This ensures that those seeking licenses are aware of traffic laws and that vehicles are roadworthy," Belgica said in a news release on Sunday.

The recommendations were formally submitted to DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade on May 19.

The ARTA recommendations include stringent investigation and scrutiny of driver's license and vehicle registration process, including private entity accreditation; and verification of driving school certificates.

"We suggest that LTO lay down measures that will determine the authenticity of certificates of completion of driving examinations offered by private accredited entities," Belgica added.

On Tuesday, a releasing officer assigned at LTO Novaliches, Quezon City was arrested for rendering illegal services to applicants of student permits. (PR)