MANILA, Philippines—Three bus drivers from Metro Manila and Cebu City were arrested after they tested positive for drugs, transportation officials said Friday.
“The drivers who are found to be positive for prohibited drugs, will be slapped with a corresponding legal penalty, their licenses confiscated, and they will be turned over to the proper government agency for processing,” James Jacob, chairman of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), said.
Two out of 202 bus drivers tested in Cebu City from December 21 to 23 were positive for drugs, Edgardo Cabase, senior director of the law enforcement service of the Land Transportation Office (LTO), said in the statement.
In Metro Manila, one out of the 67 tested drivers was found to be positive for drugs.
The drug tests were part of the Department of Transportation and Communication’s (DOTC) “Oplan Ligtas na Krismas” program intended “to ensure that our people can travel back to their respective hometowns and be with their loved ones safely, in the most convenient manner,” Secretary Mar Roxas said in the statement.
Drug testing was conducted in bus terminals in Metro Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, and Bacolod from December 21 to 23 when people are expected to travel back to their respective hometowns for the Christmas break.
The 10 tested drivers in Iloilo and 24 tested drivers in Bacolod all resulted negative.
Aside from the drivers, buses were also checked for safety and buses that had defective parts, worn-out tires and malfunctioning brakes, and broken windshields were barred from travelling.
“’Ligtas na Krismas’ is a key part of our efforts to ensure that people are provided with safe, affordable, and reliable transportation where they need it, and when they need it,” Roxas said. “We will continue with this program during the other holiday breaks when people travel in large numbers such as the observance of Holy Week next year.”