Holy Week safety: Bus driver tests positive for alcohol, barred from trips
MANILA — One provincial bus driver tested positive for alcohol use in the random tests the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) conducted at bus terminals in Pasay and Quezon City on Wednesday.
DLTB driver Juan Betos was immediately stopped from driving a passenger bus bound for Batangas after he registered a 0.43 percent blood alcohol content (BAC). He was tested using a breath analyzer at around 8 a.m. at the Buendia Bus Terminal in Pasay, and was among the 40 randomly selected drivers who were tested for alcohol use in that terminal.
MMDA inspector Voltaire Rebeque said to be declared negative for alcohol use, a driver must have a 0.0 percent BAC. He explained that their breath analyzer could detect alcohol use even after a day liquor was consumed.
The agency’s chief, Emerson Carlos, said that they did not allow Betos to drive his bus bound for Batangas. “We advised his operator to find a replacement. However, they said they did not have one,” Carlos said noting that it caused inconvenience to the passengers of the bus, which did not proceed with its trip.
But the MMDA chair said the safety of the passengers has always been their top priority. “We asked the drivers to volunteer themselves for the alcohol test. If they tested negative, they can immediately continue with their trip,” he added.
However, for Betos, the agency said that they repeated the alcohol test to make sure that the reading was correct. Carlos said the driver again tested positive for the second time.
The MMDA chair, along with the MMDA Inspectorate, went to the Araneta Bus Terminal in Cubao, Quezon City, where 42 bus drivers were tested for blood alcohol content. He also monitored the deployment of traffic enforcers in the area and the agency’s personnel tasked to help passengers carry their baggage.
The agency started deploying 2,363 traffic personnel on Wednesday to manage vehicle flow on busy roads in the metro.
MMDA Traffic Discipline Office (TDO) head Cris Saruca said some of their men were also assigned near bus terminals, churches, ports and the airports. SFM
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