Recently, the Central Visayas Land Transportation Office (LTO-7) announced that they are no longer requiring drug tests to renew driver's licenses. This comes after a memorandum issued by LTO Chief Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante, dated Nov. 11.

While mandatory drug tests are no longer part of renewing a driver's license since 2013, LTO-7 was forced to retain the practice due to an injunction by the Toledo City Regional Trial Court. Resident Dulcisimo Tuldanes filed a case questioning the memorandum of the former Department of Transportation and Communications' (now Department of Transportation) LTO Chief Assistant Secretary Virginia Torres.

According to the Philippine News Agency (PNA), Tuldanes filed a declaration of nullity of a memorandum dated June 27, 2013, issued by Torres, in her capacity as LTO chief, implementing RA 10586, which repeals Section 36 (a) of RA 9165. The motion was later granted. Five years later, the ruling was overturned, but the no drug test policy was put back due to the motion for reconsideration filed by Tuldanes.

But after years of legal wrangling, Galvante put his foot down. In his memo to LTO-7, it reads, "In view of the finality of the Court of Appeals 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".

With that, the Central Visayas office is now aligned with all LTO offices in the country. So if you're from Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental, or Siquijor, you have one less thing to do when you're renewing your driver's license. LTO-7 regional director Victor Emmanuel Caindec adds, "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”.