KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato (PIA) -- None among the 100 drivers and conductors subjected to random drug testing in public transport terminals in Koronadal City and General Santos City Friday morning was found positive for drug use, an official of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 12 revealed.
PDEA-12 information officer Katryn Abad told Philippine Information Agency that 41 bus drivers and 9 conductors from General Santos City and 50 van drivers from Koronadal City were subjected to drug test under "Oplan Harabas."
"No one among those who underwent drug screening in Koronadal City as well as in General Santos City was found positive," Abad said.
Oplan Harabas is regular nationwide simultaneous activity conducted by PDEA in coordination with the Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Department of Health, local police, and local government units as mandated under Republic Act 10586 or Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013.
Section 15 of the Republic Act requires nationwide random terminal inspections and quick random drug tests of public utility drivers.
Aside from the drug tests, PDEA also deployed drug-sniffing K9 units to conduct anti-narcotics sweeps in public utility vehicles to ensure no illegal drugs were hidden inside passengers' luggage.
They also distributed IEC materials, including a sticker that urges the public to report information and illegal drug activities in their communities.
PDEA-12 regional director Naravy Duquiatan said the random drug testing on Friday is in preparation for the Lenten season.
"Since many are traveling to their respective provinces during the Lenten season, we want to ensure the public commuters that our drivers are not using illegal drugs," Director Duquiatan said.
Duquiatan also explained that individuals who test positive during Harabas operations shall undergo confirmatory test. Those who will be confirmed for drug use will be endorsed to the Land Transportation Office for issuance of ticket and confiscation of drivers' license.
Abad further explained that public transport service providers who will be confirmed for drug use will be endorsed to the DOH for assessment and drug dependency examination for determination of interventions such as undergoing community-based drug rehabilitation program (CBRP), or, in case of severe users, referral to an in-patient drug rehabilitation facility.