Young asks for legal opinion on teachers’ drug test
A Cebu City councilor is asking the City Legal Office to issue a legal opinion whether the city government can proceed with the holding of random drug tests for public school teachers.
Councilor Joy Augustus Young, deputy mayor for education matters, said he wants to be sure if the city government has legal basis to push through with the drug testing despite the imposition of guidelines by Department of Education (DepEd).
“Para nako, naa sa atong Local Government Code nga naay hold ang city ana. Bisan og moingon ang DepEd ngai-hold, pwede man ta makapadayon but gusto ko nga atong ipaklaro ang legal basis before mo proceed,” he said. (For me, it is in the Local Government Code that we can hold a drug test even if DepEd says it should be deferred. But I want to be certain of the legal basis before we can proceed.)
Young said he already told DepEd- Cebu City Division that the city may soon resume with the drug testing.
He said there is already a guideline under the Civil Service Commission on how to go about the drug testing involving the teachers and other workers of the government.
Mayor Tomas Osmeña, for his part, said the lack of guidelines by DepEd should not stop the city government from holding drug testing.
“If there’s a lousy teacher, maybe because he’s on drugs, the students will suffer. Are they concerned of the welfare of the teachers or the welfare of the students?” he said.
“The worst thing that can happen is when the students don’t benefit from education because the teacher is palahubog, adis-adis,” the mayor added.
Osmeña said the performance of the teacher will affect the future of the students that is why the city government should ensure that teachers are qualified and fit to do the profession.
“I have not heard in all my years as mayor, of a teacher being fired because of incompetence,” he said.
For those teachers that will refuse to undergo a drug test, the mayor said they should be fired from service.
The initiative of the city and DepEd Cebu City Division, which started in September this year, has resulted in the initial testing of at least 200 of the 5,500 public school teachers in the city.
No one has tested positive of drug use but one teacher allegedly refused to undergo the test because he was “sick.”
The drug test is being administered by the city government’s Cebu City Office on Substance Abuse Prevention (Cosap).
The temporary suspension of the drug testing is because the central office of DepEd has to refine the guidelines, said Assistant Schools Division Supt. Dr. Danilo Gudelosao.