LTO/LTFRB starts drug test for bus drivers December 21

A December 20, 2011 press release from the Department of Transportation and Communications

Testing part of DOTC’s Oplan Ligtas na Krismas to ensure safety of passengers from Manila, Metro Cebu and Bacolod City

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), as part of the Department of Transportation and Communications’ Oplan Ligtas na Krismas program this holiday season, will start free drug testings on Wednesday, December 21, in key bus terminals in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Bacolod City.

“It’s the time of the year when [Filipino] families reunite and enjoy the spirit of Christmas,” Roxas said. “Just like in the ‘Oplan Ligtas na Undas’ campaign, we want to ensure that our people can travel back to their respective hometowns and be with their loved ones safely, in the most convenient manner.”

LTO and LTFRB officers will conduct random drug testing of drivers at bus terminals in Cubao, Pasay, and Sampaloc, all in Manila, North Terminal in Bacolod City, and South Bus Terminal along Bacalso Ave, Cebu City, where there will be the heaviest local passenger traffic during the Christmas break.

Among the bus organizations and operators that agreed to participate in the drug testing are Victory Liner, Five Star, Florida Transit, St Christopher, Tawtransco, Megabus, Bragais, Amihan Lines, Belleza Lines, ELLAVIL, Mark & Eves, Gasat, Ultrabus, Dimplestar, Silverstar, JVH, Alps, RORO bus, Antonina Lines, RSL, Ceres, Cagsawa, CUL Transits, Goldines, Executive Carriers, Bea Liner, and Eagle Star, all departing from Manila.

In Bacolod City and Metro Cebu, bus operators participating in the testing are Ceres Liner, Vallacar, Cebu Autobus Corp., Jerel Transport Corp., Librado Trans Inc, and Rough Riders.

Similar to the highly successful “Oplan Ligtas na Undas,” the LTO and LTFRB will be partnering with bus companies and Pro Convenient Services Drivers’ License Renewal Center and Drug Testing Laboratory Owners’ Association, Inc., the umbrella organization conducting the drug testing  nationwide.

The drug testing will be conducted from December 21-23 when the volume of holiday travelers is expected to swell at bus terminals. Similar drug testing campaigns will also be done from January 2-3, 2012 to ensure that travelers return home safely.

“ ‘Ligtas na Krismas’ is a key part of our efforts to ensure that people are provided with safe, affordable, and reliable transportation where they need it, and when they need it.” Roxas said. “We will continue with this program during the other holiday breaks when people travel in large numbers such as the observance of Holy Week next year,” he said.

Last week, DOTC convened its 19 attached agencies to map out a game plan that would ensure a safe, affordable and convenient experience for all travelers who will “hit the road, air and sea” this holiday season.

DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas ordered heads of the 19 attached agencies, particularly the Light Rail Transit Authority, Metro Rail Transit, Manila International Airport Authority, Philippine Coast Guard, Marine Industry Authority, Philippine Ports Authority, LTFRB, LTO, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Philippine National Railways, and the Office for Transportation Security, to roll out creative and effective programs to ensure the safe travel of all holiday makers during the festive season, whether by land, air or sea transport.