MANILA—The Quezon City Council has passed an ordinance requiring tricycle and pedicab drivers to undergo random drug testing.
Even before its enactment, the Quezon City government has already been implementing programs to deter the use of dangerous drugs among public utility vehicle drivers in cooperation with Tricycle Drivers Associations (TODA).
Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte said before the implementation of the drug testing ordinance, the Quezon City Anti-Drug Advisory Council will be closely working with the TODA for a rigid social preparation.
She said before they undergo drug tests, pedicab and tricycle drivers need to be educated on drug abuse prevention.
“They need to know first why they need to be educated and its harm effects. Ayaw naman natin ma-stigmatized sila. Dito sa Quezon City we don’t treat drug dependents as bad persons. We treat them with compassion. Most of them were victims of unavoidable circumstances,” she said.
The random drug testing will be set as a condition before the approval of franchise applications.
Failure to comply with the random drug testing shall be an assumption that the driver is positive for the use of illegal drugs.
Those who are found positive for illegal drugs will be prohibited by the President of the TODA or PODA from plying their routes until such time that the driver has completed the rehabilitation program.
The results of the tests will be forwarded to the Quezon City Anti-Drug Abuse Advisory Council.
Aside from a criminal case, the offender may face a civil case and a fine of PHP5,000.
The Quezon City government has allocated PHP7.5 million for the implementation of this ordinance which will be taken from the 2018 budget of the Quezon City Anti-Drug Abuse Advisory Council (QCADAAC) and every year thereafter.
The QCADAAC, Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS), Tricycle Franchising Board (TFB) were tasked to formulate the implementing rules and regulations of this ordinance.