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15 DEPW workers positive of drug use

(The Freeman) - April 12, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Fifteen employees of Cebu City Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) tested positive of illegal drug use in a surprise drug test conducted last Tuesday.

Garry Lao, head of the Cebu City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (COSAP), revealed that of the 15, 13 workers use shabu while two used both shabu and marijuana.

Out of the 267 employees of DEPW, only 246 were subjected to the drug test conducted by COSAP.

The other employees were absent on that day.

According to Marie Velle Abella, office-in-charge of Human Resource Development Office (HRDO), all the casual and job order employees who tested positive of drug use are automatically terminated while the regular employees are advised to resign.

“Advised to resign because we don’t know if they are chronic users or bag-o pa,” Abella said.

Lao said that DEPW is the ninth office whose employees were subjected to a surprise drug test.

There were already 669 employees from the different departments of the Cebu City Government who were subjected to a drugs test.

These offices include COSAP, Accounting, City Planning, Management Information and Computer Services (MICS), HRDO/Budget, Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP) and the Department of Social Welfare Services (DSWS).

Aside from the 15 DEPW employees, one employee of DWUP also tested positive of drug use.

Lao said the ultimate goal of the random drug test is to have a drug-free workplace because public servants should not be drug users considering that they face the people every day.

Sought for comment, Mayor Tomas Osmeña said that workers should prove their innocence. Otherwise, they will be fired.

“You know I have to be strict and you can say even brutal because I want to make it very clear that I don’t tolerate these things. You can complain to the Human Rights, I don’t care basta. You’re found positive, you have to prove your innocence, especially my appointees. Normally, you’re innocent until you’re proven guilty, but if it’s drugs, you prove your innocence otherwise you’re fired,” Osmeña said.

On the other hand, employees of DEPW welcome the surprise drug test so that they will be aware who among their officemates are drug users.

“Mas maayo man gud kay ug pananglit naa ba ron driver. Wa ta kahibaw nya mao’y atong gisakyan, madisgrasya ta,” said Manuel Homecillo, DEPW worker. — Mary Kristine M. Cameros, CNU Comm Intern  (FREEMAN)

 

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