Drug-free workplace program pushed in Baguio City

BAGUIO CITY –City Vice Mayor Edison Bilog hasproposed an ordinance which will implement a drug-free workplace program thsat will involve the conduct of drug tests in all offices of the local government units (LGUs) including the barangays (villages).

In the proposal, Bilog stated that the LGU recognizes the threat posed by drug abuse in the community and its specific effects in the workplace, including decreased productivity, increased accidents, absenteeism, lapses in the performance of assigned tasks, and criminality.

The primary purpose of the measure is to ensure the maintenance of a safe and healthy work environment free from use of dangerous drugs and free from other related activities as prescribed by law and it shall apply to all officials and employees of the LGU and its 128 barangays without distinction as to rank, employment status or salaries and shall cover all stages of employment.

Drug testing shall be mandatory in pre-employment, persons in high-risk or decision-making positions, past history of drug use, involvement in accidents, discovery of dangerous drug paraphernalia, detention by police or filing of charge in court for drug-related cases, as a requirement for promotion and employees reporting to work after undergoing rehabilitation in the treatment and rehabilitation center.

Drug testing shall be done by any government forensic laboratory or by any of the drug testing laboratories accredited and monitored by the Department of Health (DOH) and for this purpose, the LGU may enter into agreement with government drug testing laboratories.

Random drug tests may be done without prior notice of the date and venue on selected employees chosen by the drug-free workplace assessment committee until all officials and employees have undergone the test.

The drug-free workplace assessment committee shall formulate a random selection process or procedure for the implementation of the random drug testing of officials and employees.

The drug test certificate stating that the official and employee tested negative for illegal drug use shall be valid for one year and could be used for other purposes.

If tested positive for dangerous drugs, the result shall be reported to the chairman of the drug-free workplace assessment committee and the city mayor.

The concerned employee shall be informed and the mayor shall then take the appropriate actions pursuant to the ordinance.

The proposed ordinance of Bilog was approved by the city council on its third and final reading. Jojo Lamaria/PNA-northboundasia.com