No more drug tests are required in getting a driver’s license. But, this is not true in Bohol and in the entire Central Visayas region as it is only in the four provinces that drug tests are still being required until this time.
In a check made byÂ The Chronicle, it was learned that applicants for new or Â the renewal of drivers licenses in Bohol are still required by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) Tagbilaran and Jagna District Offices and the Talibon Extension Office to pee or take a urine test under a mandatory drug testing as a prerequisite for the issuance ofÂ a driver’s license despite the existence of Republic Act 10586 revoking such tests.
LTO Tagbilaran District Head Erwin Patalinghug during an interview withÂ DYRD ‘Inyong Alagad”Â explained that the reason for this is due to a permanent injunction issued by theÂ Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Toledo City.
Except for the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor, the mandatory drug tests have been scrapped nationwide which Senator Tito Sotto, the principal author of RA 10586 branded as a “costly and useless requirement” and will give motorists a break from costly drug tests.
Patalinghug explained that they were only following the court order of RTC Branch 59 Presiding Judge Hermes Montero who issued a permanent injunction against the abolition of mandatory drug testing.
Atty. Ma. Gay A. Erni Puentenegra, RTC Branch 59 Clerk of Court, in a exclusive interview with theÂ ChronicleÂ said “The court has issued a permanent injunction and so far we have not received any motion of reconsideration or motion for review or certiorari”.
Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza stated that: â€œRepublic Act 10586 expressly repealed the requirement of drug testing for applicants of the driverâ€™s license imposed under Section 36 (a) of RA 9165. Further, that since there is no judicial order declaring the RA 10586 void, the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013 enjoys the presumption of constitutionality. Thus, there is presently no law requiring drug testing before a driverâ€™s license can be issued or renewed.â€
A citizen and taxpayer Dulcisimo Tuldanes of Toledo City filed a civil case of prohibition and or mandamus with prayer for temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction/ preliminary mandatory injunction against Torres and other DOTC/LTO officials before the sala of Judge Montero.
Tuldanes asked the courts to order the LTO to continue mandatory drug tests before the issuance of a drivers permit or license to prevent untoward vehicular accidents caused by persons afflicted with drugs.
Approved on May 27, 2013 by President Benigno S. Aquino lll, RA 10586 known as the “Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013” repealed Section 36(A) of RA 9165 which states that “No driver’s license shall be issued or renewed to any person unless he/she presents a certification that he/she has undergone a mandatory drug test and indicating thereon that he/she is free from the use of dangerous drugs.”
Sotto debunked claims that mandatory drug tests before the issuance of a driver’s license would drastically lessen the incidence of drug related traffic accidents.
In interviews with the media Sotto stressed that the tests has been found ineffective to combat substance abuse with drug testing centers reaping financial returns from the mandatory tests.
According to SottoÂ â€œout of millions and millions of driversâ€™ licenses drug testing certifications, only 0.06 percent or less than half a percent tested positive. It is inutile. The purpose is defeated.â€
With the issuance of a permanent injunction by the RTC Branch 59 of Toledo City against the scrapping of the mandatory drug tests in Central Visayas, applicants for student, new and renewal drivers licenses will continue shelling P550 for the drug and medical tests to four drug testing centers in Tagbilaran City.Â (CMV).