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PDEA holds surprise drug test for drivers in Batangas terminal

Novmber 2, 2019

ON-THE-SPOT DRUG TESTS. Drivers, conductors, helpers and employees of public transport services undergo the surprise and mandatory drug tests by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) “Project: Undaspot” through their massive “Oplan Harabas” or Drug Test Muna Bago Pasada (drug test before driving) campaign during their drug testing operations at the Grand Terminal, Batangas City on Monday (Oct. 28). The project is to ensure the safety and security of passengers traveling to the provinces as the country observes All Saints' and All Souls' days. (Photo courtesy of Batangas CIO)


BATANGAS CITY- To ensure safe-driving for trips and travels during the All Saints' and Souls’ days or Undas weekend, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) personnel conducted an early Monday morning surprise drug tests for bus drivers at this city’s grand terminal.

Dubbed as “Project: Undaspot” through their massive “Oplan Harabas” or Drug Test Muna Bago Pasada (drug test before driving) campaign, the on-the-spot drug testing for bus drivers is part of PDEA’s efforts to ensure the safety and security of passengers traveling to the provinces for the Undas exodus. starting Friday.

As early as 3 a.m. on Monday, the PDEA personnel conducted the surprise and mandatory drug tests on some 58 bus drivers, who eventually tested negative of illegal drugs.

They also tested conductors, helpers and other employees of the public transport firm Ceres, who are expected to work on long trips especially in this terminal and the port that serves as a link for travelers and holiday goers to the western Philippine nautical seaboard, island provinces, and onward destinations.

Norman Balquiedra, PDEA 4A (Calabarzon) investigation agent V and chief of Plans and Operation Division, told Philippine News Agency that the on-the-spot drug tests are carried out to ensure the safety of the passengers and prevent illegal drug traffickers who take advantage on the surge of people on busy terminals and ports to ship out drugs.

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“Safety ng passengers ang pinaguusapan dito dahil maraming balita na may mga bus drivers ang gumagamit ng drugs kaya maraming aksidente ang nangyayari (We’re talking of the safety of the passengers because there are news reports on bus drivers who use illegal drugs that trigger frequent road accidents),” Balquiedra said.

He said provincial drivers who embark on long trips have to be checked because they might resort to illegal drugs to keep them awake and relieve stress from hours of driving long trips.

The PDEA leadership said any driver who refuses to undergo the mandatory drug test and its result will be endorsed immediately to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) for proper action.

Drivers, conductors, helpers, and employees of public transport services and terminals whose results are positive of drugs will be recommended to undergo the confirmatory test at the nearest PDEA laboratory.

The PDEA team also deployed their K-9 unit for sniffing and passenger profiling at the Batangas Port as part of the security measures for passengers for the long holiday weekend.

The “Undaspot” project here is in partnership with the provincial offices of the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Ports Authority, Philippine National Police, LTO and other national and local government agencies. (Maroe T. Genosa/PNA)

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