THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) supported the proposal of subjecting drivers of public utility vehicles (PUV) in drug testing.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the agency is supportive of the move to ensure that PUV drivers are not taking the illegal substance while on the job.

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"Magandang proposal yan at talagang napapanahon. It can be done through the coordination of government agencies such as the LTFRB and the LTO as well as the transport sector," Tolentino said.

For his part, LTFRB Executive Director Emmanuel Mahipos said drug test results can also be made part of the performance appraisal of transport companies.

"Kung sakaling mapatunayan na positive sa droga ang mga drivers, pwede gamitin as part of our performance review on operators dahil required sila to exercise extraordinary diligence sa hiring at supervision ng mga empleyado," Mahipus said.

Several bus operators and transport groups expressed support to the plan aired over the weekend by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Dionisio Santiago.

The Southern Luzon Bus Operators Association (Soluboa) and the Integrated Metropolitan Bus Operators Association (Imboa) also backed the plan.

Claire De La Fuente, Imboa President, said they are also subjecting their drivers to drug testing, adding that they are prepared to coordinate with other bus operators and PDEA to expand the program. (AH/Sunnex)