Drug tests no longer required from driver’s license applicants in Region 7

Published November 27, 2020, 1:50 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY—The Land Transportation Office in Central Visayas (LTO-7) is no longer requiring drug tests for driver’s license applicants.

LTO 7 Regional Director Victor Emmanuel Caindec on Friday announced the development based on a memorandum issued by LTO Chief Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante.

“In view of the finality of the Court of Appeals (CA) decision dated 09 March 2020, all are hereby directed to cease and desist from requiring driver’s/conductor’s license applicants in Region 7 to undergo the mandatory drug testing,” said Galvante in the November 11 memorandum.

The memorandum, which “shall take effect immediately”, was received by the LTO 7 last Thursday.

“This is good news to everyone in Region 7 because this new order will reduce the fees of the public once they renew or apply for a license in our offices,” said Caindec.

Prior to the issuance of the memorandum, the LTO-7 was the only regional office nationwide requiring a mandatory drug tests from driver’s license applicants.

Under Republic Act 10586 or the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driver Act of 2013, the mandatory drug test as a requirement when applying for a driver’s license was revoked.

But in 2013, a resident in Toledo City, Dulcisimo Tuldanes, filed a declaration of nullity of the memorandum issued by former LTO chief Virginia Torres that seeks to implement RA 10586.

        In 2018, the CA 19th Division reversed the decision of Toledo City Regional Trial Court favoring the private respondent.

A few months later, the no drug test policy was again halted after the private complainant filed a motion for reconsideration.

“We are happy that this has been resolved by the court. This is a welcome development because this will help minimize the expenses in applying for licenses,” said Caindec.