Baguio PUV drivers, conductors found negative for drug use

BAGUIO CITY– No driver or conductor of buses traveling to other regions was tested positive of illegal drug use during a random drug test on Monday, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the Cordillera Administrative Region (PDEA-CAR) said on Tuesday.
“Nobody was tested positive (of illegal drug use),” Julius Paderes, investigation agent 5 of PDEA-CAR told Philippine News Agency in a text message.
“We had a good random sampling of our drivers and conductors which shows that majority of them obey our anti-illegal drug laws and support our advocacy against illegal drugs which immensely contributed to the safety of our commuters,” he said.
A random drug test was jointly held by the PDEA-CAR and the Department of Transportation-CAR on Monday at bus stations located in Governor Pack Road and Otek Street. Inter-regional van drivers were also subjected to random drug tests.
The buses at Gov. Pack include Partas bus lines, Victory Liner, Joy Bus and Genesis bus lines, Philippine Rabbit bus lines, Lizardo bus company including vans traveling to Ilocos and Cagayan Valley regions and the provinces in the Cordillera.
There were 46 bus drivers, 42 bus conductors, and 13 van drivers who were tested for illegal drug use and all of them yielded negative results.
“We commend them and congratulations to all,” Paderes said.
The surprise random drug testing on Monday was in preparation for the All Saints’ Day exodus when hundreds of thousands of people are expected to travel to and from the provinces to Baguio city.
Paderes said the surprise drug testing or screening aims to prevent road crashes as a result of drivers and conductors who are under the influence of illegal drugs.
“We are expecting a huge number of tourist that is why we need to do this to prevent possible casualties and injuries,” Paderes said.
“They thought that it was just an ordinary DOTr inspection that is why they were surprised when we asked them to submit their urine to our chemist for the drug test,” Paderes said.
The same surprise random drug test is conducted by both agencies during peak travel season and during the opening of classes to ensure the safety of commuters. **Dionisio Dennis Jr./ PNA

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