PDEA finds 120 PUV drivers, conductors testing positive for drugs since late 2018

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MORE THAN 100 public transportation drivers nationwide have so far been tested positive for using illegal drugs, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said in an update Thursday on its surprise drug tests which began late last year.

The tests, which began on October 30, 2018, were conducted on 1,691 provincial bus drivers and conductors, of whom 15 at the outset were found positive.

Another round of testing on March 29 this year led to 50 bus, tricycle, UV express, taxi, and jeepney drivers out of 4,469 testing positive.

On April 15, 55 bus and van drivers and conductors were tested positive out of 7,910 who underwent drug tests.

In an interview with reporters on Thursday, PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino said bus and truck drivers were the frequent drug users. “Mostly lalabas diyan mga (we can see) bus drivers, truck drivers kasi (because) most of the time ito yung mga bumabiyahe nang malayo at sunod-sunod na araw (these motorists travel long distances for consecutive days),” he said.

He said that of the 120 who tested positive, 29 are undergoing rehabilitation.

“Definitely, driver’s license will be confiscated at ibabalik lang ‘yun (will only be returned) after their completion of the rehabilitation program,” Mr. Aquino also said.

For his part, PDEA spokesperson Derrick C. Carreon said, “We are planning to do it (drug testing) monthly….” — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras