Truck drivers at Manila port undergo surprise mandatory drug testing
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) conducted surprise drug tests among truck drivers at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) on Thursday.
According to PDEA director general Aaron Aquino, “[the agency] finds it necessary to subject cargo truck drivers to drug screening because they operate heavy duty vehicles…”
He also noted a “prevailing practice of drug use among the driving population to stay awake for long trips.”
Aquino said that truck drivers refusing to undergo mandatory drug testing would be reported to the Land Transportation Office while those testing positive for drugs would have their driving licenses revoked.
“They must undergo the appropriate intervention and rehabilitation process before reclaiming their licenses,” he added. Only then would they be allowed to go back on the road again.
The PDEA chief explained that drug testing among truck drivers was part of his agency’s harm reduction strategy to minimize the negative impact of substance abuse.
During the surprise drug test, the PDEA also distributed drug prevention information materials to truck and tricycle drivers at the MICP to help them become aware of the harmful effects of illegal drugs.
Aquino announced that the PDEA operations “would be done on a monthly basis to keep unsafe drivers inside the ports.”
He said drivers under the influence of illegal drugs had been blamed for the increasing number of road traffic accidents. Since 2013, more than 11,000 bus drivers, conductors, and dispatchers have been arrested for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act on 2002, he said.
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