55 test positive in PDEA's drug screening of over 4,000 PUV drivers

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Fifty-five public transport drivers tested positive for illegal drug use out of the 4,470 drivers who underwent a drug test conducted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 31) — Fifty-five public transport drivers tested positive for illegal drug use out of the 4,470 drivers who underwent a drug test conducted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Its press release Saturday evening stated that the drug test was conducted in 54 public transportation terminals nationwide.

It found 25 public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers in Zamboanga Peninsula positive for the use of methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabu. Thirteen of them are jeepney drivers, eight were tricycle drivers, three drove taxis while another drove a bus.

One tricycle driver in CALABARZON tested positive for marijuana use.

PDEA said the results are still undergoing confirmatory tests.

Under Republic Act 10586 or "The Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013," drivers found to have been driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs or other similar substances will have their professional licenses confiscated.

PDEA's "Oplan Harabas" is a simultaneous surprise mandatory drug testing to all drivers in public terminals nationwide aimed to ensure the safety of passengers from drugged drivers.

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino ordered the mandatory drug testing of drivers due to the increasing number of road traffic accidents caused by drivers who are under the influence of illegal drugs.

The agency's data from January 2018 to January 2019 showed 3,654 drivers, bus conductors and dispatchers were arrested for violation of Republic Act 9165 or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. In the second semester of 2018, 1,902 of them were arrested, an increase of 37 percent from the 1,386 arrests in the first semester.