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Opinion

EDITORIAL - Clean and drug-free government

The Freeman

As expected, no one from Cebu City Hall officials and department heads tested positive in a surprise drug screening conducted by the City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention during a gathering last week.

Mayor Michael Rama and Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella led city officials in subjecting themselves to the drug test, which was first intended for the 38 newly-hired employees, who were all also found negative.

The test happened at a time when city executives were having a presentation of the annual budget proposal. COSAP head Alice Utlang did not waste time daring the attending officials to participate in the drug screening.

This is not the first time the city's top officials have undergone the drug test. A few years ago, when a series of drug screenings revealed that many city and barangay workers were using illegal drugs, Rama was forced to subject himself to the test. Of course, he tested negative.         

Rama's purpose in undergoing the drug screening was not only to quell allegations that he has been close to one of the city's suspected drug lords but to as well set as an example to his subordinates and to the general public that his is a clean and drug-free leadership.

But since no one from the city executives failed in the recent drug test, the focus should be more on the ordinary city and barangay employees who are more susceptible to drug abuse. Barangay tanods, for instance, are highly vulnerable to drugs considering the nature of their work.

Good thing COSAP has been doing well in its mandate. Because had it not been for its religious screenings in the barangays, schools, and the City Hall, drug awareness among city and barangay workers would not have reached its highest level.

The battle, however, has yet to be won. It cannot be denied that there are still many city and barangay workers who are into illegal drugs. And authorities should even heighten their drive to remind those involved that they have no business being in public service.

ALICE UTLANG

BARANGAY

CEBU CITY HALL

CITY

CITY HALL

CITY OFFICE

DRUG

MAYOR MICHAEL RAMA AND VICE MAYOR EDGARDO LABELLA

NBSP

RAMA

SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION

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