Cebu City’s medicine couriers take drug test
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.