Boking to gov’t workers: ‘Take drug test or be dismissed’

In support of President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs, Mabalacat City Mayor Marino Morales has required public officials and employees to undergo random mandatory drug testing or face dismissal upon refusal.

This is in compliance with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) resolution dated March 15 to ensure that government agencies remain drug-free, as a condition for continuous employment.

Morales said the City Government will be fully compliant to the directives of the commission.

“Intensive at tuloy-tuloyangkampanyanatinlabansa illegal nadroga kung kaya’tnararapatlangnapatiangmgananunungkulan at empleyadosaatingsiyudad ay mag-undergo ng drug test. Walang exempted dito, kapagnagpositibo kayo sadrogaface the consequences of your actions,” Morales said.

According to the City Human Resource and Management Office headed by Merla de Leon, there are 1,993 employees at the City Hall here.
Should an employee test positive, the results will be immediately made known to the head of the agency, who will issue a notice to that employee. The said employee will be given 15 days upon receipt of notice to challenge the test results.

A Drug Dependency Examination by the Department of Health (DoH) will also be conducted following a positive test result.

Treatment shall be given to the employee, depending on any of these results of the examination: for experimenters, guidance counseling for six months; occasional users will undergo guidance counseling and regular monthly drug testing for six months which shall be at the personal expense of public official or employee concerned; for chronic users/drug dependents, a mandatory continuous treatment and rehabilitation for a minimum period of six months in a government center, or through a community rehabilitation center, a DoH-accredited private rehabilitation program sanctioned under the rules of the Dangerous Drugs Board.

Employees who refuse to undergo treatment; or those who fails to submit to rehabilitation shall be charged with Grave Misconduct. Those who test positive but refuse to undergo rehabilitation shall be sanctioned for Gross Insubordination.

Recently, the chairwoman and officials of Barangay Duquit here voluntarily subjected themselves to the random drug testing conducted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) at the Barangay Hall.Chairman Marjorie Morales-Sambo said that all barangay officials including tanods, barangay health workers, teachers, lupontagapamayapa, garbage collectors, street sweepers and other village servants went through the voluntary drug testing. Morales-Sambo said that this is the first drug testing conducted in any barangay in the city and in the province, saying that she and the barangay council where the ones who requested the PDEA Regional Laboratory for the drug testing.

Moreover, it can be recalled on November 4 of last year, more than 50 representatives from various private companies in Mabalacat City participate in the ‘Drug-Free Workplace Program’ initiated by Morales in coordination with the Mabalacat City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (MCADAC) and Operation Help for Peace Foundation at the Sapphire Hall, Xevera Lot Only, Barangay Tabun. Public Information Officer Glenn Guillermo of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Region III discussed the guidelines on the Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.Section 36 (d) of Republic Act (RA) No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 states “officers and employees of public offices shall be subjected to undergo a random drug test and any officer or employee found positive for use of dangerous drugs shall be dealt with administratively which shall be a ground for suspension or termination, subject to the pertinent provisions of the Civil Service Law.”

The City Government has also intensified weekly visitation to all 27 barangays here through the Mabalacat City Anti-Drug Abuse Council.
According to Chief of Police Superintendent JuritzRara, 18 barangays are now drug-cleared and are subject for revalidation to PDEA.

This city was able to put up the very first single storey reformation center dubbed as ‘BahayPagbabago’ situated in Barangay SapangBiabas which offers one-monthseries of lectures and livelihood programs conducted by various religious sectors and livelihood programs in coordination with the City Social Welfare and Development, City Health Office, City Agriculture Office, City Public Employment Service Office and Technical Education Skills and Development Authority.

“We cannot do this alone. Kailanganmiyaingsawupningbalangmetung to make Mabalacat a drug-free city,” Morales added.