Photo from LTO-7


Drug testing will no longer be mandatory for driver’s license applicants in Central Visayas following a court ruling.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Central Visayas prohibited mandatory drug testing applications starting Friday, Nov. 27, 2020.            

Victor Caindec, LTO Region 7 director, said the region was the last to lift the drug testing requirement in the country.

Caindec said he received the order Thursday afternoon from Transportation Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante.

“In view of the finality of the Court of Appeals decision dated 09 March 2020, all are hereby directed to cease and desist from requiring driver’s/conductor’s license applications in Region 7 to undergo the mandatory drug testing,” the stated.

The entry of final judgment from court came out recently, Caindec said.   

The Court of Appeals’ 19th Division in June 2018 ruled that a drug test is no longer required for new applications and renewal of driver’s license.

The appeals court reversed the decision of Toledo City, Cebu Regional Trial Court Judge Hermes Montero who, it ruled, “acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of excess of jurisdiction.” 

The Toledo City judge granted petitioner Dulcisimo Tuldanes’ prayer for a writ of a preliminary injunction on the removal of drug tests. Tuldanes had argued that the removal of drug tests posed a danger to the public.

The private petitioner sought to nullify a 2013 memorandum by then Transportation Assistant Secretary Virginia Torres implementing the provision of the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013 that revoked mandatory testing for driver’s license.

Caindec described mandatory drug testing as “ineffective” and said it would be replaced by “random drug testing and on-road inspecting.” 

“No one would get tested if they recently took drugs. They’ll prepare for it,” he said in a mix of Bisaya and English.

LTO-7 covers the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and SIquijor. Ryan Sorote