THE Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Central Visayas will cancel the licenses of seven drivers who tested positive for drug use after confirmatory tests conducted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (Pdea) 7.
LTO 7 Director Victor Caindec disclosed that aside from cancelling the licenses, the drivers will no longer be allowed to obtain a license for the rest of their life and they will also be charged with appropriate cases.
“As they are commercial drivers and using public utility vehicles, my assumption is that they keep a professional license. Under the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act, the penalty for a professional driver’s license holder is cancellation of the license and perpetual disqualification from driving,” he said.
Caindec said that when the drivers tested positive during the first screening of the drug test, LTO 7 personnel already confiscated their licenses.
He has yet to receive a formal report on the details of the arrest of the drivers and the case against them.
Seven out of 174 drivers tested positive in the confirmatory tests in the random drug tests conducted by the Pdea 7 in three major terminals in Cebu City on Friday, March 29.
Six were jeepney drivers, while one was a van-for-hire (v-hire) driver who tested positive for drug use during the Oplan Harabas or the drug testing of public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers.
It was jointly conducted by the LTO, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, and the Philippine National Police.
Six tested positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) and one for tetrahydrocannabinol (marijuana).
One V-hire driver and five jeepney drivers tested positive for shabu, while a jeepney driver tested positive for marijuana use.
The Pdea 7 subjected 69 drivers in the Kamagayan Terminal, 50 in the North Bus Terminal and 55 in the Ayala PUV terminal to random drug tests on Friday morning.
The names of those who tested positive were forwarded to the LTO for appropriate action.
In a statement, Pdea Director General Aaron Aquino said Oplan Harabas “Drug Test Muna Bago Pasada” was conducted as part of its approach in its harm reduction program to monitor public transportation drivers under the influence of illegal drugs.
“The safety of the riding public is our primary concern, and this program will serve as our revalidation effort on the alleged illegal drug use by drivers of public transportation. At the same time, promote a drug-free public transport system all over the country,” Aquino said. (FROM SCG OF SUPERBALITA CEBU / KAL / JOB)