By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
144 transport drivers were subjected to a surprise drug test under Oplan Harabas of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Western Visayas (PDEA 6) on Thursday.
PDEA-6 conducted the surprise drug tests at Parola Wharf, Ortiz Wharf, Loboc Wharf, Hibao-an Terminal and at the Iloilo Terminal Market.
All the 144 drivers tested negative for drug use.
In an interview, PDEA 6 regional director Alex Tablate said they targeted drivers of jeepneys, trucks, taxis, and even motorcycles to strengthen their campaign against illegal drugs.
This is actually based sa mandate of our national office na magconduct tayo ng surprise drug tests, Tablate said.
Tablate said they coordinated with the Land Transportation Office (LTO)-6, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board 6, and the Department of Health-6 for the conduct of the surprise drug inspection.
This is an inter-agency activity. Ang proseso, thru sa mga kasama natin sa LTO, pinapara natin yung mga drivers para irequest sila na magundergo ng drug tests, he explained.
If the drivers refuse to cooperate, Tablate said the LTO has the authority to confiscate their licenses depending on the violation.
To further intensify their campaign against illegal drugs, Tablate said they are planning to conduct the surprise drug inspections on a monthly basis covering the different areas in the region.
As per mandate, we are planning na magkaroon ng monthly activity para at least maging continuous hindi lang yung tulad before na once in a while lang, he said.