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          SURPRISE DRUG TEST. Bus drivers undergo a surprise drug test at bus terminals in the cities of Pasay and Quezon on Monday (Oct. 28, 2019). The Oplan "Undaspot" aims to ensure the safety of passengers, especially those who are going to the provinces to observe All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. (Photo courtesy of PDEA)

          MANILA -- The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Monday conducted simultaneous surprise mandatory drug tests for drivers at bus terminals in the cities of Pasay and Quezon as part of efforts to secure passengers traveling to the provinces for the observance of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day.

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          PDEA, together with representatives from the Land Transportation Office and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, conducted the tests and K-9 sweeping at JAC Liner Bus Terminal and Philtranco, both located in Pasay City; Partas Bus Terminal, Five Star Bus Terminal, both located in Cubao, Quezon City.

          Long trips, particularly by provincial drivers, may be detrimental to the safety of the passengers due to fatigue. “Thus, the possibility that the bus drivers use illegal drugs to counter fatigue and keep them alert cannot be discounted,” Aquino said.

          “Any driver who refuses to undergo the mandatory drug test and the drug test result will be immediately endorsed to LTO for proper action,” Aquino said.

          Based on PDEA’s records from last year's Oplan “Undaspot" (October 29-31, 2018), Oplan "Huli" Week (April 15-16, 2019), and Oplan “Harabas” (March 29, 2019 and May 16, 2019), a total of 19,087 drivers, conductors, helpers and employees of public transport services and terminal underwent the drug test.

          A total of 213 or 1.11 percent tested positive for use of shabu and marijuana. (PNA)


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