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Cebu News

Cebu City Hall execs tested negative for drugs

May B. Miasco/FPL - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and all department heads, including Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, tested negative in another round of surprise drug test conducted by the City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention last Tuesday.

COSAP chief Dr. Alice Utlang said that the 38 newly hired employees who were subjected to the drug screening were also cleared of any illegal substance.

According to Utlang, the test serves as the pre-employment requirement of the newly hired workers who were called for the orientation last Tuesday.

“Dapat lang gyud nga mag-negative. We have the responsibility and moral obligation to our personnel since we took the highest positions to lead. We should serve as the role model to our people,” said Utlang, who herself underwent the test together with the other department heads.

Utlang dared the city officials present during the presentation of the annual budget proposal to undergo the drug test. Rama presided the budget meeting.

“They thought I was only joking and they didn’t know there was a drug testing actually going on (for the newly-hired employees). The group agreed so right then and there, they submitted to the drug test. They went out of the office one by one,” she said.

Labella, who happened to be around to attend the next scheduled meeting, was also made to undergo the test.

“This (drug test) is really needed to deter any person from using drugs and as I have said, we are not exempting anyone from those holding the highest positions and those newly-hired. This is to ensure that we are operating in a drug-free workplace,” said Utlang.

The City Council recently passed the amended City Ordinance 1829 which requires the city government workforce, including the city mayor, vice mayor, and city councilors, to submit into the annual random drug test.

Councilor Nestor Archival Sr., who pushed for the amended measure, said that the local legislation will serve as a “deterrent from drug use or substance abuse for all the officials, employees to minimize, if not ensure, that all those who are in public service and are entrusted with trust are drug free.” — (FREEMAN)

ACIRC

CEBU CITY MAYOR MICHAEL RAMA

CITY

CITY COUNCIL

CITY OFFICE

CITY ORDINANCE

COUNCILOR NESTOR ARCHIVAL SR.

DR. ALICE UTLANG

DRUG

TEST

UTLANG

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