At least 53 public transport workers came out positive for illegal drug use out of the 7,729 workers or employees who underwent drug test conducted by PDEA in its “Opaln Huli Week.”
. The drug tests were conducted in 89 major public transportation terminals nationwide.
Out of the 53 employees, 35 are bus drivers, seventeen 17 are bus conductors, and one dispatcher were screened positive for the use of methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu. The results are still undergoing confirmatory tests in PDEA forensic laboratories as of press time.
PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino said the agency implements ;Oplan Huli Week”, in coordination with other government agencies as part of PDEA’s holistic approach in reducing the demand for illegal drugs, promoting drug-free workplaces, harm-reduction and reformation.
“We are also doing this to curb incidents of vehicular accidents caused by drugged drivers and make the roads safer, especially this Lenten Season’s travel rush,” Aquino said.
Out of the total 7,729 public transport workers who were subjected to the drug tests, 4,460 are bus drivers, 2,727 are conductors, 18 are inspectors, 26 are dispatchers, nine are canvassers, 29 are van drivers, and 460 transport workers.
“Oplan Huli Week” was implemented in accordance to the provisions of Republic Act No.10586, or the “Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013”, or “An Act Penalizing Persons Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Dangerous Drugs, and Similar Substances, and for Other Purposes aimed to detect concealed illegal drugs in various bus and van terminals, and high-risk airports and major seaports across the country through the conduct of K9 sweeping operations. Illegal drug traffickers may take advantage of the bustling activity surrounding these passenger terminals to transport illegal drugs.
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.
Based on PDEA’s data monitoring from January 2018 to January 2019, 3,654 drivers, bus conductors, and dispatchers were arrested for violation of RA 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% from the 1,386 arrests in the first semester.
The following is the breakdown of the Drug Testing on the recently held OPLAN “HULI WEEK”:
|REGION||TOTAL NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES DRUG-TESTED||TOTAL NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES SCREENED POSITIVE||TYPE OF DRUG||KIND OF DRIVER|
|NCR||2,187||13||shabu||9 drivers4 conductors|
|I||533||4||shabu||1 driver3 conductors|
|IVA||425||6||shabu||5 drivers1 conductor|
|V||319||4||shabu||3 drivers1 dispatcher|
|VII||736||4||shabu||4 bus drivers|
|VIII||330||1||shabu||1 bus driver|
|X||309||2||shabu||2 bus drivers|
|XI||308||8||shabu||4 bus drivers4 conductors|
|XII||232||1||shabu||1 bus driver|
|CAR||252||3||shabu||1 bus driver 2 conductors|
|BARMM||90||1||shabu||1 bus driver|
|TOTAL||7,729||53||35 bus drivers17 conductors1 dispatcher|
“Any driver who tested positive for drug use, their driver’s licenses will be withheld pending the issuance of clearance by the PDEA. They must undergo the rehabilitation process before reclaiming their licenses,” Aquino noted.
“While the rest of the nation observe Holy Week, OPLAN: “HULI WEEK” is our humble contribution in keeping our traveling kababayans and the roads safer during these solemn times,” the PDEA chief said.