THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) asked drivers and operators of Transport Network Vehicles (TNVS to “exercise due diligence” to avoid being “unwitting couriers” of illegal drugs.
“Before they know it, the drivers have become unwitting couriers of illegal drugs. We are urging TNVS (transport network vehicle services) drivers and operators to exercise due diligence to ensure that they will not be used to transport any contraband,” said PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino who met with representatives of Grab and Uber on Thursday to address the issue of their drivers being used as drug couriers.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) formed a Technical Working Group with PDEA and the two transport network companies (TNCs) to come up with strategies on how to avoid situations like this with the end in view of eliminating the drug problem.
The meeting stemmed from reports that TNCs were being used to transport illegal drugs.
In a meeting with the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) on Tuesday, Grab Country Head Brian Cu admitted that there were “less than nine” cases involving the transport of illegal substances without the drivers’ knowledge.
This is why, Cu said, Grab drivers have the right to refuse packages from senders who would not allow them to be checked.
The LTFRB also announced that it would require public utility (PUV) drivers to undergo mandatory drug testing, including those from Grab and Uber.
It said in an advisory to the press on Wednesday, “the Board will recommend to LTO (Land Transportation Office) to permanently blacklist drivers” who would be found guilty of being involved in the illegal drug transport.
“LTFRB will (also) direct Grab and Uber to permanently deactivate accredited peer/driver from its system,” it added. GLEE JALEA