No more drug tests, says LTO 7

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014


BEGINNING today, licensing centers of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7 will no longer require drug test to applicants for drivers’ license despite the injunction issued by the Toledo City Regional Trial Court (RTC).

LTO 7 Director Arnel Tancinco said the opinion of the Office of the Solicitor General says that Republic Act 10586, or the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driver Act of 2013, has abolished mandatory drug tests as license requirement.

Tancinco said the RTC has issued an injunction against the memorandum dated last June 27, issued by then LTO chief Virginia Torres. It stopped the drug test because of the passage of RA 10586 that abolished it.

In her memorandum, Torres said Section 19 of RA 10586 repealed the conduct of mandatory drug testing under subparagraph (a) Section 36 of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Certification

plicants for new and/or renewal of driver’s licenses are no longer required to present certification that he/she has undergone a mandatory drug test and indicating thereon that he/she is free from the use of dangerous drugs effective immediately,” read Torres’ memorandum.

The order of Torres was the subject of the court injunction, Tancinco said.

Mandatory

However, Torres’ successor, Assistant Secretary Alfonso Tan Jr., recalled her (Torres) order last Jan. 14 and issued his own order stopping the mandatory drug test based on the opinion of Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, which he received last Dec. 26, 2013.

Presumption

The solicitor general’s opinion stated that: “Republic Act 10586 expressly repealed the requirement of drug testing for applicants of the driver’s license imposed under Section 36 (a) of RA 9165. Further, that since there is no judicial order declaring the RA 10586 void, the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013 enjoys the presumption of constitutionality. Thus, there is presently no law requiring drug testing before a driver’s license can be issued or renewed.”

“The Memorandum (of Torres) dated June 27, 2013 on the mandatory drug testing for issuance of driver’s license is hereby recalled, there being no need for the same as the repeal is expressly provided by law,” read Tan’s memorandum to all LTO officials concerned.

Tan furnished copies of his Jan. 14, 2014 memorandum to Sen. Vicente Sotto III, who authored RA 10586, Jardeleza, Department of Transportation and Communications Joseph Emilio Abaya and Jose Perpetuo Lotilla, DOTC undersecretary for legal affairs.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 05, 2014.

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