By Joseph Jubelag
GENERAL SANTOS CTY– At least two public utility vehicle drivers tested positive for illegal drug use during a surprise drug testing conducted simultaneously last Monday by personnel of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) at the public terminals here and in the cities of Koronadal and Cotabato.
PDEA-12 regional chief Naravy Duquiatan said more than 300 drivers of bus and commuter vans, conductors, and dispatchers were subjected to random drug testing by personnel of the PDEA, Land Transportation Office, and Land Transportation and Regularity Board who made the surprise visits to public terminals in key cities of Region 12.
She said the surprise drug test was conducted to ensure the safety of commuters who will be taking public utility vehicles during the Holy Week.
The PDEA official said a passenger bus driver in this city was tested positive for using methamphetamine hydrochloride or ‘shabu’ during a confirmatory test on his urine sample.
She said the bus driver’s license was turned over to LTO for proper disposition while he was advised to undergo drug counseling and mandatory rehabilitation.
LTO-12 assistant regional director Robert Kiunisala said an administrative proceeding will be initiated against the erring driver, and if found guilty, will be sanctioned and his driver’s license will be revoked.
He said the LTO, in coordination with PDEA, had launched an anti-drug campaign in the transport sector to ensure road safety among motorists and commuters.
In Cotabato City, personnel of the LTO, PDEA, and LTFRB also conducted random drug testing on some 90 drivers, conductors, and dispatchers of passenger buses and commuter vans plying the General Santos-Cotabato route.
A bus driver also tested positive for ‘meth’ use.