Are Tourists allowed to drive in the Philippines
Please be informed of Section 21 of Republic Act 4136, known as the "Land Transportation and Traffic Code," to wit:
"Section 21. Operation of motor vehicles by tourists. – Bona fide tourist and similar transients who are duly licensed to operate motor vehicles in their respective countries may be allowed to operate motor vehicles during but not after ninety days of their sojourn in the Philippines.
"If any accident involving such tourist or transient occurs, which upon investigation by the Commissioner or his deputies indicates that the said tourist or transient is incompetent to operate motor vehicles, the Commissioner shall immediately inform the said tourist or transient in writing that he shall no longer be permitted to operate a motor vehicle.
"After ninety days, any tourist or transient desiring to operate motor vehicles shall pay fees and obtain and carry a license as hereinafter provided."
At the outset, the Land Transportation and Traffic Code defines "tourist" as "a foreigner who travels from place to place for pleasure or culture." (Sec. 3) In accordance with the afore-quoted provision, tourists who hold a valid driver's license issued by the road authority of their home country are allowed to use that license to drive in the Philippines for a period of 90 days from the time of arrival in the Philippines.
After said period, the tourist, however, must secure a Philippine license by applying for the same in accordance with the existing rules and regulations.
Applying the foregoing, a tourist may be allowed to drive here in the Philippines during the 90 days of his/her temporary stay, provided that he/she can show that he is duly licensed to operate a vehicle in his/her home country. Possession of a valid driver's license from his/her home country would satisfy this requirement.