QC bus terminals inspected; bus drivers, conductors underwent drug tests
MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Tuesday inspected several bus terminals in Cubao, Quezon City, and conducted random drug tests on public vehicle drivers and conductors.
MMDA acting chairman Don Artes said they checked the bus terminals of Five Star, Genesis Transport Services, and Baliwag Transit and subjected 42 bus drivers and conductors to drug tests.
“No driver or conductor has tested positive for drug use,” he said.
The MMDA’s inspection of transport terminals is part of its mission to keep travelers safe and secure as the government anticipates a rush this Holy Week break, according to Artes.
“We want to ensure the orderly and safe travel of passengers going to the provinces for the Lenten break,” he said.
Artes likewise said that the MMDA allowed provincial buses to ply along Edsa from April 3-5 (10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.) and April 6-10 (24 hours) to address the expected passengers influx.
Apart from the MMDA, the inspection of transport terminals was carried out in cooperation with the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, as well as the Quezon City government.
PDEA-NCR Regional Director Emerson Rosales said that if a bus driver tested positive for illegal drug use, he will no longer be allowed to drive.
Metro Manila coding scheme suspended from April 6-10
The MMDA official then announced that the number coding scheme in Metro Manila has been suspended from Maundy Thursday (April 6) until Monday (April 10).
The government declared April 10 a regular holiday because the actual commemoration of the Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) falls on a Sunday (April 9) this year.
Maundy Thursday and Good Friday have always been regular holidays while Black Saturday, a special non-working holiday.
Additionally, the MMDA suspended the number coding scheme in Metro Manila from 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5.
This came as Malacañang had declared government work suspension from 12 noon on Wednesday to allow state workers to prepare for the observance of Holy Week.
Meanwhile, Artes disclosed that a total 2,104 MMDA personnel have been deployed to man major thoroughfares, major transport hubs, and key areas in the metropolis. They were not allowed to go on leave from April 6-10, he added. A skeleton workforce of the MMDA is likewise in place from April 7-10, he also said.