Expect more drug tests in transport sector

PDEA-6 agents collect urine sample of a public utility vehicle driver at the Iloilo Terminal Market in Iloilo City during a surprise drug test on May 16, 2019. (PDEA-6 photo)

THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-6 will conduct more monthly surprise drug tests on public utility drivers and conductors.

The latest phase of PDEA’s Oplan Harabas happened on May 16, 2019 in five areas in Iloilo City.

Alex Tablate, PDEA-6 officer-in-charge, said they coordinated with the Philippine National Police, Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Department of Health (DOH), and the local government of Iloilo City.

Personnel from the PDEA-6 laboratory section led the random drug test on 143 drivers and a dispatcher.

At around 6 a.m., the team made their first stop and conducted the panelling and inspection at Parola Ferry Terminal, Muelle Loney St., Barangay Concepcion.

Ten jeepney drivers, 17 taxi drivers, 3 truck drivers, 14 tricycle drivers and a dispatcher were randomly selected to undergo the surprise drug tests. 

Two hours later, the team proceeded to Ortiz Wharf Terminal located at Barangay Ortiz and picked 14 taxi drivers and 6 tricycle drivers for the test.

They then checked the nearby Iloilo Terminal Market and selected 8 jeepney drivers, 7 truck drivers, and 15 tricycle drivers.

At 10:30 a.m., 30 truck drivers at the PPA Commercial Port Complex, in Barangay Loboc, Lapuz, also took part in Oplan Harabas.

At noontime, 19 drivers at Hibao-an Terminal, In Hibao-an Norte, Mandurriao, also underwent the test.

Tablate said it was the second PDEA-6-led Oplan Harabas activity this year.

“We’re happy to note that no driver was found positive for drug use,” he said.

Even last Holy Week’s surprise drug test also cleared all drivers who underwent drug use test.

Oplan Harabas is in line with PDEA’s efforts to ensure road safety by conducting surprise random drug tests among drivers of jeepneys, taxis, and UV Express nationwide.