MANILA The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) bared that 53 public transport workers tested positive for illegal drug use based on the results of the "Oplan: Huli Week", which was aimed to secure passengers traveling to provinces for the Holy Week.
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said the results came from the drug test conducted on 7,729 transport workers, including bus drivers and conductors, in 89 major public transportation terminals nationwide.
Aquino said out of the 53 employees, 35 were bus drivers, 17 were bus conductors, and another one was a dispatcher. They were screened positive for the use of methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu.
Out of the total 7,729 public transport workers who were subjected to the drug tests, 4,460 are bus drivers, 2,727 are conductors, 18 inspectors, 26 dispatchers, nine canvassers, 29 van drivers, and 460 transport workers.
We are also doing this to curb incidents of vehicular accidents caused by drugged drivers and make the roads safer, especially this Lenten Season's travel rush, Aquino said.
The operation was implemented in accordance to the provisions of Republic Act 10586 (Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013).
Aquino ordered the mandatory drug testing on drivers due to the increasing number of road traffic accidents blamed on drivers under the influence of illegal drugs.
Based on PDEA's data monitoring from January 2018 to January 2019, 3,654 drivers, bus conductors, and dispatchers were arrested for violation of RA 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002). In the second semester of 2018, 1, 902 of them were arrested, an increase of 37 percent from the 1,386 arrests in the first semester. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency