A driver registering himself for a drug test in Quezon City
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra was on top of his voice when he accosted a dispatcher at a bus terminal in Quezon City on Monday (October 29).
“Kapag lagpas mo nito ng terminal na ito, sisitahin ko na ito. One million ang multa nito, colorum. Pipilitin ninyo iyan o hindi? Pipilitin ninyo ba o hindi?…Just follow the rules!” Delgra told the dispatcher when asked what to do with the bus units in the terminal.
Delgra was joined by representatives from the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Inter Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the inspection.
Three bus units where caught in violation of the law for operating out of line while another unit was stopped for having a faded plate.
The LTFRB argued that bus units must have CCTV, dash cam and GPS installed before operating.
The LTFRB added that every bus unit travelling for more than six hours should have an alternative driver.
“Kailangan may relyebo otherwise it’s a violation on the bus company; so, we will have to call their attention, if not penalize. Mahirap kasi, we’re trying to avoid accidents here. We’re trying to address road safety,” Delgra said.
Consequently the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) conducted a surprise random drug testing among drivers and bus conductors prior to their travel.
Delgra said one driver was tested positive from the test and was barred from driving after his licensed was suspended. He is likely to face charges for illegal drug use.
The MMDA, meanwhile, also conducted alcohol breath test to drivers to avoid drunk driving.
“Kapag nakainom ka na, ang tendency nito, it’s either hindi ka nga lasing pero kulang ka sa tulog; so napakadelikado para sa mga long drive. Nasa mahigit, more than 30 ‘yung dala mong pasahero. So, hindi ho natin papayagan na kahit ho konti, one percent ng alcohol, na bumiyahe ‘yung nasabing bus drive,” explained Celine Pialago, the MMDA’s assistant secretary.
Meanwhile, the public is advised to notify the authorities of any violation by bus drivers through police assistance desk in terminals or call LTFRB hotline number 1342, DOTr hotline 7890, and PNP hotline 117. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)