Vice mayor, coun­cilors un­dergo anti drug tests

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Front Page - By PJ Orias

In a move that sur­prised many, the City Coun­cil yes­ter­day, Septem­ber 11, suspended its weekly ses­sion to allow anti-nar­cotics agents to per­form drug tests on all coun­cilors.

Led by Vice Mayor Rainier Joaquin ‘Kikang’ Uy, all the coun­cilors present vol­un­tar­ily sub­mit­ted them­selves to the drug tests ad­min­is­tered by two Philip­pine Drug En­force­ment Agency (PDEA) per­son­nel.

Only Coun­cilors Teo­dulfo ‘Bong’ Lao and En­rico Sal­cedo were ab­sent in the drug test­ing

City Coun­cilor Romeo Cal­izo, chair­man of the City Anti-Drug Abuse Coun­cil (CADAC), said the city gov­ern­ment has al­lo­cated an es­ti­mated P1.2 mil­lion for the manda­tory drug test­ing of the 6,119 city gov­ern­ment em­ploy­ees, in­clud­ing barangay of­fi­cials.

Cal­izo is­sued a stern warn­ing to em­ploy­ees that re­fusal to sub­mit to drug test­ing could be grounds for ter­mi­na­tion.

“Dili pwede mo-refuse, kung mo-refuse, pasabot ana, wala na si­lay katun­god maner­bisyo, and that can be grounds for ter­mi­na­tion. And if mo-in­sist sila na dili gyud, cit­ing hu­man rights con­cerns, I say it is a law, and the law is ought to be obeyed. Unsa may katun­god nimo maner­bisyo kung dili ka law-abid­ing? Ma-dis­miss gyud na sila sa ser­bisyo,” he said.

“Walay ra­son ang em­p­leyado na mo-dili, kay balaod man kana,” he added.

Cal­izo said the city hall em­ploy­ees will be tested any­time.

Mean­while, Uy, for his part, wel­comed the CADAC’s move, point­ing out that this has long been planned by the coun­cil.

Uy said a res­o­lu­tion was passed last Au­gust 6, 2016 for the con­duct of the il­le­gal drug test but was not re­al­ized im­me­di­ately due to bud­get con­straints.

“As ap­proved, ako mismo ang nag-una pinaagi sapag­pakita nga nisu­porta kita sa kam­pa­nya sa atong Pres­i­dente Duterte sa il­le­gal na droga,” he said.

Coun­cilor Ge­orge Gok­ing, mean­while, said he de­cided to vol­un­tar­ily sub­mit to drug test­ing to set an ex­am­ple to the public.

“Maayo man, it’s a very good move, it’s a sam­ple for other to fol­low that we are a drug-free City Hall, as city coun­cilors, we should set an ex­am­ple kay how can we pro­mote na drug-free ta, atong work­place, atong Ca­gayan de Oro, if we won’t start with our­selves?” Gok­ing said.

The re­sults of the drug tests will be in to­mor­row but the Cal­izo said he will an­nounce it next week, Mon­day.

The Civil Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (CSC) re­quires public of­fi­cials and em­ploy­ees to un­dergo drug test­ing, in sup­port of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

In an or­der dated March 15 but re­leased only April 19 this year, the CSC said it is the man­date of the 1987 Con­sti­tu­tion and the Ad­min­is­tra­tive Code of 1987 to en­sure that morale, ef­fi­ciency, in­tegrity, re­spon­sive­ness, pro­gres­sive­ness, and cour­tesy shall be widely ob­served, to en­sure that gov­ern­ment ser­vice shall be drug-free as pro­vided by the Com­pre­hen­sive Dan­ger­ous Drugs Act.

The memo cov­ers all public of­fi­cials and em­ploy­ees but will not in­clude con­tract of ser­vice or job or­der em­ploy­ees.

In the event that an em­ployee tests pos­i­tive, he has the op­tion to chal­lenge the re­sult, but fail­ure to file a chal­lenge, ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tions shall be taken by the lo­cal gov­ern­ment,

He would also un­dergo a drug de­pen­dency ex­am­i­na­tion and shall be sub­jected to a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gram.

(JOEY P. NACALABAN)

DRUG TESTS. Vice Mayor Rainier Joaquin ‘Kikang’ Uy is flanked by coun­cilors Ge­orge Gok­ing and Ian Mark Na­caya as the three vol­un­tar­ily sub­mit them­selves to drug tests con­ducted by the Philip­pine Drug En­force­ment Agency (PDEA).

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