CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – At least three public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers tested positive for illegal drugs following a joint operation conducted by government enforcement agencies in the city’s bus terminals.
This was confirmed Wednesday, April 17, by Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-10 (LTFRB-10) regional director Aminoden Guro, whose office has coordinated with the Phil. Drug Enforcement Agency-10 (PDEA-10) and the Land Transportation Office-10 (LTO-10) in the conduct of the operations that also included random drug testing on bus and taxi drivers.
Guro said two of the individuals are employees of the bus company Rural Transit Mindanao Inc. (RTMI) and one is a taxi driver. He did not divulge the names of the drivers.
He said the taxi driver was an enrollee of the LTFRB’s drivers’ academy held Tuesday, while the bus drivers are based in the public terminal in Barangay Bulua.
Guro said the taxi driver confessed to being a drug user and has volunteered to be tested.
“He underwent the drug examination and was tested positive,” he said.
More than 25,000 PUV drivers have finished the agency’s drivers’ academy in the region’s five provinces and seven cities where they are taught not just driving refreshing course but modules on road rage, signages, and other important topics.
A total of 307 bus drivers and conductors were subjected to the random drug testing conducted by the PDEA-10 in Agora and Bulua terminals Monday, but Guro said none of the drivers at the Agora terminal in Barangay Lapasan tested positive.
“The said drivers were formally interviewed by this office and were reported to LTO 10 for proper disposition and further endorsed to their respective barangays for any intervention appropriate to the said driver,” the PDEA-10 posted on its Facebook page, referring to the bus drivers that tested positive for illegal drugs.
Guro said the LTFRB-10 will summon the RTMI management so the bus firm can explain why some of their drivers continue to use illegal substance despite their anti-drug policy.
A source at the RTMI, who agreed to provide details but requested not to be named for this interview, said the RTMI is very strict when it comes to drivers who are caught using illegal drugs, particularly crystal meth or shabu.
The source said the company will conduct its own investigation, but based mostly on the result of the drug testing conducted by PDEA.
It is likely, the source said, that the bus drivers who tested positive for drugs will be terminated from their jobs.
In a previous interview, RTMI branch manager Jessie Boy Lentorio said the bus company conducts an in-house drug testing from time to time. (davaotoday.com)