Cebu City’s medicine couri­ers take drug test

The Freeman - - NEWS - — Odessa O. Leyson/JMD

Cebu City Of­fice of Sub­stance Abuse Preven­tion's cam­paign to get rid of drug-pos­i­tive work­ers within the gov­ern­ment ranks con­tin­ued yes­ter­day with its con­duct of a sur­prise drug test on work­ers of Barangay Mam­bal­ing's Long Life Med­i­cal As­sis­tance Pro­gram.

COSAP sub­jected at least 56 per­son­nel to the drug test upon the re­quest of Long Life Med­i­cal As­sis­tance Pro­gram head Peter Visita­cion, who said that the peo­ple tasked to dis­trib­ute main­te­nance medicines to city res­i­dents must them­selves be not drug users.

Of the 56, three were ca­sual em­ploy­ees and the rest job or­der work­ers.

COSAP head Garry Lao re­ported that all of the med­i­cal pro­gram per­son­nel were present dur­ing the test, though he could not yet as­cer­tain as of this writ­ing whether there were work­ers found pos­i­tive.

More than a thou­sand City Hall em­ploy­ees have al­ready un­der­gone drug test­ing with COSAP since Lao stepped in last July. Of these, seven reg­u­lar em­ploy­ees have been found pos­i­tive for drug use, pend­ing re­sults of con­fir­ma­tory tests.

Visita­cion, in an in­ter­view, told The FREE­MAN that main­tain­ing a drug-free team was among the march­ing or­ders of Mayor To­mas Os­meña.

“Ac­tu­ally, I am very glad nga nahitabo ni sa of­fice (drug test). Right from day one, naay in­struc­tion ang mayor nga da­pat clear gyud ang work­ing place from il­le­gal drugs. So I think, we should be the first nga clean ani,” he said.

The Long Life Med­i­cal As­sis­tance Pro­gram started in July last year as part of the Os­meña ad­min­is­tra­tion's ini­tia­tive to de­liver main­te­nance medicines straight to the homes of the res­i­dents.

These medicines are for hy­per­ten­sion, di­a­betes, and arthri­tis.

From 20,000 pa­tients dur­ing the start of the pro­gram, the num­ber has now bal­looned to 50,000, city-wide.

Since the City Coun­cil did not ap­prove the pro­posed bud­get last year for the pro­gram, the medicines be­ing dis­trib­uted now are those from the Depart­ment of So­cial Wel­fare and Ser­vices and Depart­ment of Health.

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