Solon files bill aimed at abolishing drug tests for drivers

But the NBI is against it
Sep 7, 2011

A lawmaker has has filed a bill that seeks to abolish the drug-test requirement for those who are either applying or renewing their driver's licenses.

According to the Rep. Benhur Salimbangon (4th District, Cebu), author of House Bill 1023, only those with criminal records, pending court cases or traffic violation citations should be required to undergo drug testing by the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

Citing a study conducted by the Dangerous Drugs Board, Salimbangon said only 0.4 percent of those tested have been found to be positive for illegal drugs. The solon also pointed out that since its implementation many years ago, the mandatory drug testing has not significantly contributed to addressing the drug menace.

Salimbangon also raised other arguments behind his proposed abolition of the mandatory drug testing, like how the P400 fee is a financial burden to the people and how the existence of the many drug testing centers in the country is questionable due to reports of fake accreditation by the LTO.

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Despite these arguments, however, National Bureau of Investigation director Magtanggol Gatdula is against the move to abolish the drug tests, saying that "persons under the influence of drugs are proven to be road hazards."

"A number of vehicular accidents involved drivers who were under the influence of prohibited drugs," said Gatdula.

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Gatdula added that the safety of the public takes precedent over the expense of the mandatory drug test.

What do you think? Should the LTO continue the mandatory drug test or should it be abolished? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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