MANILA The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) together with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Monday conducted a surprise drug test for drivers at bus terminals as part of efforts to secure passengers travelling to provinces for the All Saints' and All Souls' Day holidays.
PDEA implemented 'Oplan Undaspot' in coordination with LTO AND LTFRB to prevent illegal drug traffickers in taking advantage of the influx of people and busy operations in these terminals to transport illegal drugs, PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said in a message sent to reporters.
On Monday morning, PDEA, LTO and LTFRB personnel conducted the drug test on 160 bus drivers at the Victory Liner Terminal, Bicol Isarog Terminal, Araneta Center Bus Terminal which houses ordinary buses, and Araneta Center Bus Port where air-conditioned buses are located.
Only one driver tested positive for drug use. He will undergo another confirmatory test and if he fails, he will be fired from his job.
Any driver who refuses to undergo the mandatory drug test shall be reported to the LTO which is a member of Oplan Undaspot implementing team. The result of the drug test will be immediately endorsed to LTO, Aquino said.
The PDEA chief said that long trips, particularly by provincial drivers, may be detrimental to the safety of passengers due to fatigue.
Thus, the possibility that the bus drivers use illegal drugs to counter fatigue cannot be discounted, Aquino pointed out.
Based on PDEA's records from January to September 2018, around 1,287 drivers, 24 taxi drivers and 12 bus conductors were arrested for using illegal drugs.
PDEA Regional Offices were also directed to conduct the same test within their respective areas of responsibilities in coordination with concerned agencies.
During the operation, drug preventive information, education and communication (IEC) materials were also distributed. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency