FORTY-FIVE public transport workers subjected to a mandatory drug testing by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency on Monday tested positive for substance abuse and marijuana and were barred from driving after their licenses were confiscated.
PDEA chair Director General Aaron N. Aquino said of the 45 drug users, 24 were bus drivers; 14 bus conductors; three jeepney drivers; two van drivers; one tricycle driver; and one taxi driver. They were among the 4,675 public transport workers subjected to a drug test under the PDEA Project: UndaSpot nationwide.
Aquino said that the drivers who tested positive for shabu or marijuana were not allowed to travel their licenses seized and turned over to the Land Transportation Office.
The drug-using transport workers will only be able to reclaim their licenses as soon as they finish a mandatory rehabilitation process which includes health awareness, and psychological and spiritual activities such as counseling, moral recovery, values formation, personal and life skills provided by the local government.
Aquino said the “UndaSpot” was the fifth installment of PDEA’s Oplan: Harabas where all public transport employees specifically drivers were subjected to a surprise mandatory drug testing while K-9 dogs sweep major passenger terminals and ports to ensure the safety of traveling passengers.
With the assistance of personnel from the Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and the Philippine National Police, PDEA officers went to the JAC Liner Bus Terminal and PHILTRANCO Bus Terminal in Pasay City and the Partas Bus Terminal and Five Star Bus Terminal in Quezon City and conducted a mandatory drug testing.
Gamboa, Sinas inspect bus terminals
Philippine National Police Officer-in-Charge Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa and National Capital Region Police Office director Brigadier General Debold M. Sinas yesterday inspected their security preparations in bus terminals in Metro Manila ahead of the All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
The two, joined by PNP spokesman Brigadier Gen. Bernard M. Banac and Quezon City Police District director Colonel Ronnie Montejo visited the Araneta Center Bus Terminal in Cubao to have a personal glimpse of the security measures being implemented in the area.
“Meron tayong mga area of security in the different areas of convergence especially ngayon sa mga travelers dito sa mga bus stations and then sa airports because we expect ‘yung napakaraming tao probably on Thursday,” Gamboa said.
Sinas said NCRPO Police Assistance Desks have been set up to guide commuters and prevent criminals from taking advantage of the huge crowd.
Meanwhile, Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco on Monday led the inspection of the NavoHimlayan public cemetery to ensure safe and smooth observance of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day.
“More than 10,000 visit the NavoHimlayan, and its adjacent private cemeteries, during Undas. We want to make sure that everything will go smoothly, so that there would be no untoward incidents, and visitors stay safe,” he said.
Around 700 police, fire officers, city and barangay personnel, health and emergency staff, sweepers and volunteers will be deployed at the NavoHimlayan public cemetery on November 1.
The city government has also tapped the Philippine Army, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, and Philippine Red Cross for additional manpower.
The city government advised residents to finish cleaning tombs and niches until 5 p.m. today.
The city government also said that Gov. Pascual Street from A. Ignacio Street in Bgy. Daanghari to Los Martirez Street in Bgy. San Jose will be closed to traffic from October 31 at 1 p.m. until 12:01 a.m. on November 2.
The public were advised to refrain from bringing weapons or any sharp objects, firearms, liquor or alcoholic drinks, gambling paraphernalia, and loudspeakers inside the cemetery. With Edd Reyes