Bus drivers, conductors undergo drug test to ensure road safety for Holy Week
MANILA, Philippines — Several bus drivers and conductors went through a mandatory drug testing on Monday to ensure the safe travel of people traveling during the Holy Week.
During an inspection of various bus terminals in Cubao, Quezon City, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Spokesperson Director Derrick Carreon said that no driver or conductor has been tested positive for drug use as of now.
“So far wala pa naman pong nag-indicate na positive sa drugs,” Carreon said after the inspections led by PDEA and the Quezon City Police District (QCPD).
However, he added that according to their agreement with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), drivers who would eventually test positive will no longer be allowed to make trips.
“Within the day, any screened positive result will be immediately brought to the PDEA Laboratory Service for confirmatory testing, kasi ang naging usapan po natin dito with the LTO, and the LTFRB and the bus companies, any driver screened positive will not be allowed to continue driving until we confirm the result,” Carreon said.
“If they are confirmed negative, then they can proceed. Otherwise, any driver who is confirmed positive for drug use, will be subjected to initial intervention through on-site counseling,” he explained.
The driver’s license of the bus drivers found positive of drug use would be withheld, until they are cleared by PDEA and the Department of Health (DOH).
“We will coordinate with the Department of Health for the proper intervention for our drivers. ‘Yong lisensya po nila, in coordination with the LTO, hindi natin ire-release until makuha po nila ‘yong proper certification from the DOH and PDEA proving that they have undergone the appropriate intervention for drug use,” Carreon relayed.
Similar operations have been conducted by different agencies in the past holidays to avoid accidents brought by drug use, which drivers see as a way to stay awake during long trips.
During the Holy Week, many Filipinos make their way outside Metro Manila to maximize the long weekend, as Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are regular non-working holidays.
Previous reports said that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has deployed more than 1,600 traffic enforcers to assist motorist this Holy Week, as more buses are expected to move around Metro Manila streets starting on Monday. /je
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