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Random drug tests expose 18 PUV drivers

/ 07:42 AM April 04, 2012

AT least  18 public utility drivers initially tested positive for drug use in random roadside tests done by the Land Transportation Office in Central Visayas (LTO-7) since last week.

They were found positive for shabu use.

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Roadside tests were done at the national highway along Minglanilla town and in Basak, Mandaue City, yesterday afternoon as part of Oplan Ligtas Cuaresma (Holy Week).

Buses, taxis and jeepneys were flagged down and the drivers were made to give urine samples on the spot.

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Asst. Regional LTO-7 Director Arnel Tancinco said 13 out of 63 drivers tested positive yesterday. Last Friday,  five out of 50 drivers  were positive.

Their driver’s licenses were confiscated. Test results were submitted  to their Manila office  for confirmatory  laboratory tests, which would take one to two weeks.

In the meantime the drivers were issued temporary operator’s permits (TOP).

If the drug use is confirmed, the driver’s licenses will be revoked and subject to appeal after they undergo drug rehabilitation.

Tancinco said the LTO wants to ensure  drivers are drug-free to protect the safety of passengers spending their Holy Week vacation in the province.

Tancinco said they expect a surge of passengers today as government offices will close for the  long Holy Week holiday until Monday.

The Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) said they will also conduct random roadside drug tests on  PUV drivers.

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Citom chairman Sylvan Jakosalem said this is more practical than conducting drug tests every year for the renewal of licenses. He said the rise in shabu use by drivers is alarming and merits action.

“These drivers should not be given a second chance and their licenses should be revoked,” he said. Correspondent Jhunnex Napallacan and Reporter Marian Z. Codilla

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TAGS: drug tests, Land Transportation Office in Central Visayas (LTO-7), public utility drivers, Random drug tests
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