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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Bid to include drivers’ drug history in licenses junked

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The Commission on Human Rights on Wednesday rejected the proposal of Senators Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Francis Tolentino to include the history of drug offense in the driver’s license after going through treatment and rehabilitation.

The agency believes such proposal could do more harm than good.

In an official statement, the agency’s lawyer-spokesperson, Jacqueline Ann de Guia, said that “the underlying assumption behind disclosing criminal offenses is that it is an effective measure to promote public safety by, in this case, allowing driver’s licenses to bear records of illegal drug use.”

“However, such proposal unfairly discriminates, especially for those who have fully rehabilitated and turned their backs on the use of dangerous drugs and other similar substances after undergoing proper interventions,” she added.

The proposal, if passed, would only deprive drug offenders accessing opportunities for employment and to be a productive member of the society, or “worse, possibly pushing them back to drug use and sale again,” “instead of allowing them to fully reintegrate.”

At the same time, it must be noted that not everyone who is undergoing or underwent rehabilitation was a result of a criminal offense. It seems to be a punishment for all those who voluntarily submitted themselves for treatment to always bear that mark for simply wanting to be better,” De Guia said.

She cited Republic Act No. 10586 or the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013 “already” penalizing acts of driving under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs and other intoxicating substances.

“This law already recognizes the importance of protecting the people from accidents and violence that may arise from drunk or drugged driving,” she said.

“While the intent may be noble, the CHR argued that laws and policies should always be fair and should be mindful of the complexities of any social issue it seeks to address,” she added.

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