Young asks for le­gal opin­ion on teach­ers’ drug test

The Freeman - - NEWS - — Jean Marvette A. De­me­cillo/MBG

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.

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