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PDEA conducts surprise drug test on port truck drivers

PDEA surprises port truck drivers with drug test

Truck drivers register for the surprise drug testing by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency at the Manila International Container Port on Wednesday, May 16, 2019. (Photo by Cathrine Gonzales / INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) conducted on Thursday simultaneous surprise drug tests on truck drivers in major container ports nationwide.

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said they launched the operation dubbed “Oplan Harabas” in coordination with other government agencies in an effort to reduce the demand for illegal drugs and promote drug-free workplaces.

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“PDEA finds it necessary to subject cargo truck drivers to drug screening because they operate heavy duty vehicles and are engaged in long distance travels. There is a prevailing practice of drug use among the driving population to stay awake for long trips,” Aquino said in a statement.

“We are also doing this to keep track of long haul drivers under the influence of illegal drugs,” he added.

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As of posting time, two truck drivers already tested positive for drug use, according to Aquino.

In a chance interview at the Manila International Container Port (MICP), where Aquino led the drug testing on truck drivers, he said the PDEA was also planning regular drug tests in major container ports.

He said drivers who refuse to undergo mandatory drug test would be reported to the Land Transportation Office, while those who test positive would have their driver’s licenses confiscated pending clearance by the PDEA.

Personnel of PDEA’s Preventive Education and Community Involvement Service were on hand to give counseling and facilitate the rehabilitation of drivers found positive for illegal drug use. (Editor: Cenon B. Bibe Jr.)

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