Since 2013, upon the passage of Republic Act 10586 or the "Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013,″ license renewals and applicants for professional and non-professional driver's licenses were no longer subjected to a mandatory drug testing.
It was initially made a requirement to discourage the regular users of illegal substances from applying and getting behind the wheel. However, the flawed drug testing process left a lot of room for corruption and eventually led to its abolishment.
Yesterday, however, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) Chief Assistant Secretary, Edgar Galvante, has revealed that mandatory drug testing might return in the near future. This announcement was made at the Safer Mobility & Logistics Conference & Exhibition at Solaire Manila. Galvante said that the Chief Executive himself, President Rodrigo Duterte, told the LTO to study the possibility of re-implementing mandatory drug testing for driver's license applicants, including those who are renewing them. This move is in response to a recent truck accident in South Cotabata that ended the lives of 21 individuals and injured 14, as well as part of his War on Drugs campaign.
Similar to the procedure in the past, whether applying for a new license or renewal, one must first submit him or herself for a medical exam at LTO-authorized drug testing centers. From there, applicants will need to submit a urine sample and have their biometric data collected. If the applicant fails the drug test, there would be a confirmatory test. Still failing that, the drug testing center will inform the LTO office and the LTO will take the appropriate action.
Because the system was highly criticized and marred with irregularities, it was stopped in lieu of field sobriety testing as part of the mandate of the Anti-Drunk Driving Act of 2013.