Recently, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) released results of their random drug testing for public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers nationwide. Over the course of seven months 4,762 drivers underwent the aforementioned test and over 100 tested positive for illegal substances.
The data was presented by LTO director Clarence Guinto. It was shown during a Senate hearing committee regarding public order and dangerous drugs led by Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa. This study is part of a series on vehicular accidents wherein the driver was under the influence of illicit drugs.
Of the 4,762 drivers tested, 116 failed. Of the 3,534 bus and jeepney drivers who were randomly selected in NCR (National Capital Region), 80 of them tested positive for recent substance intake. 13 out of 883 were in Central Luzon, 15 out of 161 in Region 4A, 2 out of 69 in MIMAPORA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan), and 6 out of 129 in the Bicol Region.
During the discussions, Senator Francis Tolentino suggested amending Section 15 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. He said that he wants to make the process of sending drivers found positive for drugs to be sent to rehabilitation centers quick as possible.
Recently, a jeepney driver tested positive for illegal drugs after he was arrested for running over and killing one student and injuring six others in Makati. More were arrested following the incident after the LTO conducted testing in the city. With that, the LTO said they will be ramping up their random drug testing program on PUV drivers, as well as truck drivers.
In a bid to make PUV travel safer, the MMDA also said that they will be banning thousands of PUB (Public Utility Bus) drivers due to multiple traffic infractions. In a previous report, it was stated that PUB drivers who have accrued multiple violations, will no longer be allowed to get behind the wheel and ply the roads of Metro Manila beginning March 9, 2020, as mandated by the agency.
"A representative from LTO will join our personnel at our Bus Management Dispatch offices to screen city bus drivers. They will not be dispatched if they are included in the list of habitual violators. Their driver’s license will be confiscated by LTO as MMDA is not allowed to do so," said MMDA general manager, Jojo Garcia.