If passed as an ordinance, thousands of tricycle drivers in Dumaguete City may be required to undergo random drug testing, otherwise they will be prohibited from driving their units until such time that they will complete the rehabilitation and treatment program.

Councilor Karissa Faye Tolentino-Maxino, author of the proposed ordinance, asserts that this will ensure road safety and suppress and impose appropriate penalties for drug addiction.

The cost of drug testing will be shouldered by the City Government, which is estimated to be at P 1.7 million that will be charged against the annual budget of the LGU.

Under the proposed ordinance, the random drug testing will be conducted to all public motorized tricycle, utility motorized tricycle and pedicab drivers to be implemented by the city government and shall guarantee and respect their personal privacy and dignity.

However, drug testing may be set as a condition for the granting of franchise. Failure to comply with the random drug testing shall be prima facie presumption that the driver or operator is positive for the use of illegal drugs.

Those drivers found negative will be issued a Drug Test Certificate that is good for 12 months and could be used for any relevant purpose.

Those who test positive for dangerous drugs after confirmatory test will be informed and prohibited by the President of the Tricycle Association until such time that they shall have completed rehabilitation. In case the driver is also the operator/owner of the unit, his franchise will be suspended as well.

Specifically, the penalties will be for Driver of Tricycle/Pedicab: Prohibition to drive the unit until such time that the driver has completed his rehabilitation and treatment program.

For Owner/ Operator: Suspension of franchise until such time that the owner/operator has completed his rehabilitation and treatment program. Without prejudice to any criminal or civil case that maybe filed, a fine of Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) shall be meted to the Tricycle Association President or Operator in case of failure to implement the required procedure.

Further deliberations, including public consultation will be conducted in the next sessions.