EDITORIAL – City Hall’s serious case of drug abuse
(Agence France-Presse) - December 13, 2019 - 12:00am

The administration of Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella should immediately act on the problem of illegal drug abuse in City Hall in the wake of the rising number of city government employees found positive for drug use.

Its investigation should include looking into how these drug-positive workers managed to land employment in City Hall given the fact that local government, since the previous administrations, has been strict in hiring personnel.

The City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (COSAP) confirmed that 10 more City Hall workers tested positive for drugs, raising the number to 52. These latest 10 drug-positive employees come from six departments, including the City Council.

As the number of city government workers using drugs is undeniably shocking, Labella needs to urgently dig deeper into the bottom of problem to find out how they were able to secure jobs at a supposedly drug-free institution.

Although it is not yet known whether or not those drug-positive workers are newly-hired, the fact that they found their way into City Hall undetected until the random drug tests is causing grave concern about the serious case of drug abuse in public service.

Yes, the present administration must seriously do something about the matter, otherwise, the public may construe it as a result of poor recruitment procedures, a process that seemingly failed to put premium on the need to hire personnel who are mentally and physically capable of handling their jobs.

Of course, random drug screenings are a vital instrument to determine the gravity of the drug abuse problem in City Hall. However, their practice is not enough to boost the campaign for a drug-free city government.

For the campaign to succeed, the gate must be heavily fortified. This means a strict recruitment process must be religiously observed to deny job applicants with a history of drug abuse a place in City Hall.

EDGARDO LABELLA
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