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LTFRB to require drug testing for drivers

MANILA, Philippines – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will require all public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers to undergo drug testing, board member Aileen Lizada announced on Tuesday, September 26.

Drivers of ride-hailing services like Grab and Uber will be included, aside from drivers of buses, jeepneys, and taxis.

"The Board will issue [a memorandum circular] for mandatory drug testing for all PUV drivers," reads an advisory sent by Lizada to reporters.

This comes after the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) flagged ride-hailing services as being used to deliver illegal drugs.

Transport giant Grab said it counted less than 10 drivers who used its app to deliver contraband, while Uber reported that it has not recorded such an incident.

The LTFRB also said in its advisory that it will order Grab and Uber to purge drivers who will test positive for drugs, and will recommend that the Land Transportation Office (LTO) "permanently blacklist" such drivers.

The LTFRB will also form a technical working group (TWG) with PDEA to discuss strategies on how to battle the drug problem.

Second time's the charm?

LTFRB ON THE FIGHT AGAINST DRUG TRAFFICKING pic.twitter.com/rzTSsnqzyz — Official LTFRB (@LTFRB) September 26, 2017

 

This is not the first time that the LTFRB vowed to require PUV drivers to undergo drug tests.

Last June, the Journal and DZRH reported that the regulatory board pushed for the measure after they found truck drivers taking drugs to stay awake for long trips.

This time, Lizada told Rappler, they have made the crafting of the memorandum circular a "priority."

She added that their legal department has put its release "in a timeline." Lizada, however, was not able to give an exact date when the order will be released. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

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