Benguet – Vegetable traders and truckers in the various public and private trading centers in the capital town expressed their all-out support to the conduct of unannounced random drug testing among agriculture industry stakeholders to serve as a deterrent to the commission of possible crimes that will have an impact on the prevailing decent peace and order situation in the locality.
Earlier, the Cordillera offices of the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Highway Patrol Group (HPG), in coordination with the La Trinidad Municipal Police Station, conducted a random drug testing among truck drivers at the Benguet AgriPinoy Trading Center that resulted to three drivers testing positive for illegal drugs.
Further, the same joint law enforcement operation was conducted along Marcos highway which yielded to 2 truck drivers testing positive for illegal drugs.
The concerned stakeholders urged the concerned government agencies to extend the coverage of their joint operations to the different public and trading centers in the municipality to ensure those using illegal drugs will be apprehended to help in successfully curbing the proliferation of illegal drugs in the said facilities.
The vegetable traders claimed that the use of illegal drugs by some truckers has been one of their major problems that trace back to several years ago and that the government’s aggressive anti-drug campaign had definitely made a difference in the prevailing decent peace and order situation not only in the municipality but also in other parts of the country.
According to them, the use of illegal drugs among some of the truckers has been considered a major concern among the stakeholders of the different trading centers because of the prevalence of certain crimes in the past such as rape, robbery, among others, but the situation had definitely improved over the past several years since the present administration worked on an aggressive anti-drug.
LTO- PDEA and HPG officials vowed to sustain the gains of their joint law enforcement operations and assured that the same will be expanded to different parts of the region to help in containing the proliferation of illegal drugs that pose a serious threat to the bright future of the youth.
Aside from marijuana, authorities said that one common drugs being used by those who had been apprehended is shabu.
Baguio and Benguet serves as the transshipment area of shabu from the lowlands before being distributed in the different parts of the region.