In a bid to take off PUV drivers using illicit drugs out of commission, Senator Ronald dela Rosa has urged the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to conduct random drug testing in transport terminals. This comes after numerous reports of drivers under the influence of dangerous drugs involved in road accidents.
“LTO should take the lead on proactive efforts. It should visit transport terminals, and on the spot, randomly conduct drug tests among drivers. That’s the best enforcement that LTO can do, and that should be done nationwide,” said dela Rosa. The senator also proposed that once a PUV driver has tested positive for illegal drugs, their license should be revoked immediately.
Dela Rosa brought up Republic Act 10586 or the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013. This provision allows the LTO to conduct random terminal inspections and quick random tests of public utility drivers. With his suggestion of the immediate revoking of licenses for those who tested positive, dela Rosa also suggested amending RA 10586 as well. He also said, “We are not lacking laws, our problem is enforcement. We should focus on enforcement to minimize accidents”.
On the subject of violation databases, dela Rosa told LTO and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to be more in sync with each other, especially in terms of data. He noted that a 'disconnect' between the two agencies is what allows drivers with multiple infractions to slip through the law and continue on their routes. He cited the recent case in Makati City where a driver with over 500 violations was still a valid license holder because of disjointed data.
“Hindi na-cancel ang kanyang lisensya dahil hindi na-furnish ang LTO ng mga records nila. Sabi ko nga kanina, dapat merong convergence kayo ng efforts ninyo lalong lalo na sa sharing of data (His license was not canceled because the MMDA failed to furnish LTO with its records. That’s why I told them during the hearing to have convergence of efforts especially on sharing of data),” said dela Rosa.
Over the past seven months, the LTO had screened 4,762 PUV drivers nationwide. 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.