89 drivers test positive in surprise drug screening nationwide
MANILA, Philippines — Eighty-nine drivers across the country tested positive for illegal drug use on Thursday after simultaneous surprise drug tests on truck drivers were conducted in major container ports.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said 49 truck drivers, nine truck helpers, and 11 tricycle drivers out of the 5,009 drivers and public transport workers included in the screening nationwide yielded positive results for illegal drug use.
Also found positive for drug use were nine van drivers, five jeepney drivers, three multi-cab drivers, two minibus drivers, and one truck employee.
In a statement, PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said the truck drivers were subjected to surprise drug tests because they “operate heavy-duty vehicles and are engaged in long-distance travels.”
“There is a prevailing practice of drug use among the driving population to stay awake for long trips,” Aquino added.
The anti-drug agency said that the Land Transportation Office (LTO) confiscated the driver’s license of those who tested positive for illegal drug use.
The said drivers may get their licenses back once clearance is issued by PDEA.
“They must undergo the rehabilitation process, which includes health awareness, and psychological/spiritual/physical activities such as counseling, moral recovery, values formation, personal and life skills, provided by the local government, before reclaiming their licenses,” PDEA said.
PDEA also noted that the surprise drug screening, dubbed as “Oplan Harabas,” was conducted in major container terminals nationwide, including the two biggest ports in the country – the Manila International Container Port in Tondo and the Port of Manila in the South Harbor Area. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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