Random drug tests for PUV drivers ahead of Undas 2019

MANILA, Philippines – To keep both travelers and motorists safe during Undas, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is activating on Tuesday, October 22, Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Undas, which will include random drug testing for public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and conductors before they leave their terminals.

"Bago mag-drug test, kailangang i-surrender ng tsuper ang kanyang lisensya. Kapag nagpositibo sa drug test, agad na kukumpiskahin ang lisensya niya upang hindi na makapag-drive sa pagkakataong iyon," LTO chief Edgar Galvante said in a statement.

(Before undergoing the drug test, the driver will need to surrender his license. If the drug test turns out positive, his license will be confiscated immediately so that he won't be able to drive right in that instance.)

PUV drivers and operators with confiscated licenses will need to take a confirmatory test. If they test negative, their license will be returned. If they test positive, their license will remain confiscated until it is proven that the drugs have been flushed out of their system. 

In the past, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board also eyed drug testing for PUV drivers and operators after it was discovered that ride-hailing services were used to deliver illegal drugs.

LTO enforcers will also be deployed for Oplan Isnabero, an initiative that aims to apprehend abusive taxi drivers and other PUV operators.

When it was launched in 2016, Oplan Isnabero aimed to apprehend taxi drivers who do not give change to passengers, refuse to convey passengers, and do not properly use taxi meters, among others.

Preparations for Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Undas began on Monday, October 21, which included intensified motor vehicle roadworthiness inspections and bus terminal inspections. These will determine if vehicles are fit to operate during Undas season.

If a vehicle fails the inspection, the owner will either be advised to assemble or replace damaged parts, or keep the vehicle parked in their garage.

The LTO also promoted road safety and law compliance through seminars and brochures for drivers and operators, in cooperation with the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group. 

Thousands are expected to travel to and from provinces for All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day on November 1 and 2. – Rappler.com

Loreben Tuquero

Loreben Tuquero is a researcher-writer for Rappler. Before transferring to Rappler's Research team, she covered transportation, Quezon City, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government as a reporter. She graduated with a communication degree from the Ateneo de Manila University.

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