In the Philippines, you drive on the right-hand side of the road, unlike in Britain or Australia. Cars and automobiles found on the road all drive with left-hand steering. Speeds and distances are given in metric measures like kilometers per hour (kph), unlike in the United States (mph). One mile is 1.6 kilometers and, conversely, one kilometer is 0.62 mile.
Jeepneys, taxicabs, buses, private vehicles, lorries, delivery trucks –all drive with left-hand side steering. Road courtesy and safety should be observed at all times, but knowing traffic rules and regulations is a must.
There are three (3) types of driving license in the Philippines: 1) Student Permit, 2) Non-Professional, and 3) Professional Driver’s License. The minimum age for driving in the Philippines is sixteen (16 ) years old. They must secure a Student Permit and must be accompanied by a person with a Professional Driver's License.
Legal Age Requirements for drivers' licenses in the Philippines:
1) Student Permit - Must be at least 16 years old
2) Non-Professional - Must be at least 17 years old
3) Professional - Must be at least 18 years old
Here's some helpful tips, or guided questions to pass the written driver's exam in the Philippines. All questions that appear are in the vernacular or Filipino language (Tagalog) but are followed by the English translation and a brief answer.
• Ano ang kahulugan ng patay-sinding dilaw na ilaw trapiko?
What does a flickering on-and-off yellow light indicate? Slow down to a near halt. Proceed cautiously if safe to do so.
• Sa highway kung nais mong magpatakbo ng mabagal kaysa iba, dapat kang gumawi saan?
If you wish to drive slower than others in a highway, where should you keep to? Always keep right. This should keep you out of harm's way or other fast-approaching vehicles from behind you.
• Ano ang pinakaligtas na distancia o agwat ng isang sasakyan sa kanyang sinusundan?
What is the safe distance between another vehicle you are following in traffic?
One car length. One car length for speeds of 20-40 kph. Higher speeds require more than 2 car lengths.
• Kung ikaw ay nahuli, ilang araw and palugit upang maayos ang iyong kaso at matubos ang “licencia”?
If you were given a traffic citation ticket, how many days are stipulated by law to retrieve your driver's license? You are given fifteen (15) days max, not one month.
• Sa isang “intersection” na walang nakatalagang senyas trapiko, 2 sasakyan ang dumarating. Aling sasakyan ang may karapatan sa daan?
In an intersection where 2 vehicles meet, who has the right of way? Is it the vehicle on the right or left?
It’s the vehicle who slowed down first who has the right-of-way. Neither assert your rights with aggressive drivers. It is almost always the reason for "road rage crimes" and violent accidents. It is always best to adopt a defensive driving attitude.
• Ang hindi pagsunod sa ilaw-trapiko ay maaaring magsangkot sa iyo sa aksidente. Tama!
• Ipinagbabawal ang paglusot o "overtaking" sa paanan ng tulay sapagkat mapanganib at hindi nakikita ang sasakyang kasalubong. Tama!
Overtaking from the foot of a bridge does not allow you to see approaching vehicles to your left or from behind the incline on the opposite side of the bridge. This is bad judgment which would likely result in a fatal collision and harm to yourself and others.
• Kailangang magbigay ng senyas kung kakanan o kakaliwa sa daratnang "intersection" sa layong 30 m.
A driver should give the signal to turn right or left at an intersection from 30 meters away or about 100 feet. When you are driving on a highway, a signal to turn right or left should be flashed continuously for the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.
• Habang nagmamaneho, dapat kang tumingin sa "side and rear-view mirrors" ng mabilis o madalian. Tama!
For safety, a driver should always take a quick peek at his "side and rear-view mirrors" to check for other vehicles closing in or pedestrians getting too close within harm's way.
In metropolitan Manila or highly populated areas like Quiapo, Baclaran or EDSA, the likelihood of harming pedestrians or bus passengers are likely.
• Ang pinakaligtas na alituntunin kahit ikaw ang may karapatan sa daan ay huwag ipilit ang karapatan. Tama!
The safest driving practices for road safety is not to assert your rights aggressively. Defensive driving and road courtesy are the best guide to steer you by. Give way even if you are right. The other driver may have a gun, a steel pipe or a machete to vent his "road rage" against you!
• Kung ang masasalubong mo ay may nakasisilaw na ilaw, ano ang dapat mong gawin? Tumingin ng bahagya sa gawing kanan ng kalsada.
If your eyes strain from the glare of oncoming headlights, it is best to look down slightly downwards to the right side of your lane. Temporary blindness can occur, your judgment may be panicky and may cause accidents. If you cannot handle night-time driving, leave the driving to someone you trust.
Driving at night is more difficult that driving during daytime. Your eyes strain from glaring headlights from approaching vehicles on the opposite lane.
Halogen or fog lights installed on some vehicles reflect “high-intensity glow” which are best recommended only during foggy weather and should not be used in normal city driving conditions.
Never rage or do the same by switching ON your “bright lights.” Cool tempers make for a better driver.
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• Ano ang takdang tulin ng isang sasakyan sa lugar ng paaralan?
What is the mandatory speed limit within a school zone? Within a school zone where children frequently cross, the maximum speed limit is 20 kph (kilometers per hour) or 12 mph (miles per hour).
• Saang lugar hindi maaaring pumarada? Sa mga lugar na tawiran ng tao.
Which is always a prohibited parking zone? The designated pedestrian crossing in any street, road or thoroughfare is always a NO PARKING ZONE. Parking along pedestrian zones block the flow of people crossing the street. Use your good judgment and show road courtesy at all times.
• Ano ang dapat mong dalhin kung nagmamaneho? Licencia, rehistro (CR), at resibo (OR) ng huling pinagbayaran sa LTO.
What must you always bring when driving in the Philippines? Driver’s license, and a photocopy of the original “car registration” (CR) and “official receipt” (OR) of the last payment made to LTO (Land Transportation Office). Always carry your driver’s license when driving a car anywhere in the Philippines. It serves as an official government identification card as well as a "proof of privilege" to drive either a private or a public-utility vehicle.
It is recommended that you keep photocopies only of the original “CR” and “OR” in the vehicle in cases of emergency.
Keep it in the glove compartment for easy reach. It is NOT recommended to keep the “original copies” of the car registration and official receipt in the vehicle in case of grand auto theft or “carnapping” which is highly rampant in the Philippines. Keep these documents in a safe place at home.