By: Jennifer P. Rendon
More than 200 drivers and conductors were randomly picked for drug tests spearheaded by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-6 on Monday.
The surprise drug tests in transportation terminals in the region ahead of the observance of All Souls’ and All Saints’ Days were in consonance with PDEA’s Oplan Undaspot and Oplan Harabas.
“And the good news: none of our drivers, conductors, and other transport employees was found positive for illegal drugs use,” PDEA-6 acting spokesperson Shey Tanaleon said.
The 282 individuals who underwent the surprise drug tests included 123 drivers, 98 conductors, 1 dispatcher, 1 inspector, 34 van drivers, 4 multi-cab drivers, 15 taxi drivers, and 6 tricycle drivers.
Tanaleon said PDEA-6 interdiction units and provincial offices implemented the activity in coordination with the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), local government units, and other concerned agencies and stakeholders.
Aside from conduct of surprise drug tests, PDEA, LTO, and LTFRB personnel also distributed information, education and communication (IEC) materials.
Tanaleon said they also conducted simultaneous K9 sweeping operations at bus terminals, airports and seaports.
The first inspection happened 4 a.m. Monday at the Caticlan Jetty Port in Malay, Aklan.
PDEA-Aklan K9 units conducted paneling or inspection and profiling at the jetty port where buses from Batangas bound for Iloilo and Dumaguete and cargoes coming in and out of roll on-roll off (Ro-Ro) vessels were inspected.
Another team conducted paneling and random drug tests at 6 a.m. at Pavia People’s Terminal in Barangay Ungka Uno, Pavia, Iloilo.
Around that time, PDEA-6 also held paneling and K9 sweeping operations at San Jose de Buenavista Terminal in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique.
By 7 a.m., another PDEA K9 Interdiction unit also inspected the Roxas City Integrated Transport Terminal in Pueblo De Panay at Barangay Lawaan, Roxas City, Capiz.
Together with Philippine Coast Guard, a PDEA-6 team also conducted the same activities at BREDCO Port in Bacolod City.
The same activities were also done at the Ceres Bus terminals in Barangay Buhang, Jaro, Iloilo City; Barangay Bata, Bacolod City; and in Ceres South Bus Terminal in Bacolod City.
At 2 p.m., another drug test and paneling was held at Brgy. San Pedro, Molo Terminal in Iloilo City
In some areas of the country where Oplan Undaspot was conducted, some drivers and conductors tested positive for illegal drugs.
According to PDEA, Oplan Undaspot is a surprise mandatory drug testing to all bus drivers and conduct of K9 sweeping in the different terminals and ports nationwide aimed to ensure the safety of passengers who will be traveling for the upcoming Undas.
PDEA made the initiative citing instances where bus drivers and conductors were arrested for illegal drug use.