Pangasinan bus driver, 2 ticket collectors positive for illegal drugs

DAGUPAN CITY — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said Tuesday that a bus driver and two ticket collectors turned out positive for illegal drug use during the surprise mandatory tests conducted on Monday in Pangasinan.

The PDEA, Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) offices in Pangasinan implemented a surprise mandatory drug test on 104 bus drivers, 106 ticker collectors and one dispatcher on Monday to ensure the safe travel of commuters this Holy Week.

PDEA-Pangasinan provincial officer Dexter Asayco, in a radio interview on Tuesday, said one of the tested bus drivers and two ticket collectors turned out positive for drug use.

“They will be subjected to further examination or the confirmatory test and if they again resulted positive, they will be endorsed to concerned agencies such as the Philippine National Police and be included in their watch list,” he said.

Asayco said the bus companies are to decide on the fate of their employees who yielded positive results in the drug test.

“It is up to them if they fire them or suspend them, but it is better if they fire them once it is confirmed by the test that they indeed use illegal drugs,” he said.

The agency’s operation is part of the “Oplan Huli Week” to ensure the safety of commuters, especially this Lenten season when travel is at peak.

“Most of the drivers use shabu to keep them awake, especially at night, while they are driving. However, this is dangerous because the illegal drug will affect their mental state,” Asayco said. Ahikam Pasion /PNA –