Jun 242013
The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has yet to stop requiring mandatory drug tests for applicants for driver’s license despite a law revoking it.

“Kailangan po iyon,” LTO chief Virginia Torres said in an interview on GMA News TV’s “Kape at Balita” Monday when asked if drug testing is still required in the application or renewal of driver’s license.

Torres, however, said she would meet with some government agencies this week to discuss Republic Act 10586, which, according to its principal author Sen. Tito Sotto, scraps “costly” drug tests as a requirement.

“Ito nga po ay pag-aaralan namin ng mabuti,” Torres said, adding agencies that will participate in the meeting are the Department of Health, National Police Commission, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Department of Trade and Industry, and Department of Science and Technology.

“At syempre iimbitahin din namin ang mga taga-OSG [Office of the Solicitor General] para maesplika talaga ang batas na ito sapagkat nagkakaroon nga po ng iba’t ibang interpretation,” she said.

“Iyan po ay malalaman namin after June 27,” Torres added.

In a statement, Sen. Vicente Sotto III said the mandatory drug test, a requirement under the Dangerous Drug Act of 2002, has been revoked by the RA 10586 or the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013.

He said the scrapping of a “useless requirement” will allow motorists “a respite from costly drug tests,” which is worth P200.

Sotto stressed that the Repealing Clause in RA 10586 “specifically stated that the clause on mandatory drug testing was among those deemed inconsistent with the new law.”

Under RA 10586, drug testing will only be conducted for those driving under the influence (DUI).

“If the driver fails in the sobriety tests, it shall be the duty of the law enforcement officer to implement the mandatory determination of the driver’s blood alcohol concentration level through the use of a breath analyzer or similar measuring instrument,” Section 6 of the new law said. — Amanda Fernandez/KBK, GMA News

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