Pangasinan mulls mandatory random drug testing for capitol workers every six months

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — Governor Amado Espino III is seriously looking into a proposed mandatory random drug-testing for provincial capitol employees in support of President Rodrigo Duterte’s call to wipe out illegal drug trade and drug addiction in the country.

Governor Espino said that he is planning to issue an executive order directing the conduct of mandatory drug testing every six months for all workers at the capitol.

“I have already discussed with department heads that we will institutionalize drug-testing for capitol employees every six months, if necessary,” the governor said.

Corollary to this, Provincial Legal Officer Geraldine Baniqued said that mandatory but random drug testing is justifiable for officers and employees of public and private offices “as the need for drug testing to at least minimize illegal drug use is substantial enough to override the individual’s privacy.”

Espino, head of the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC), met with Pangasinan Provincial Police Officer-in-charge Ronald Lee to gather updates on the list of persons involved in illegal drug trade and drug use who voluntarily surrendered to the police.

“The drive now comes from the police. And because of fear, those involved in the illegal drug trade surrender,” he said.

Espino, likewise, bared plans to revive an old plan for the construction of a rehabilitation center in Burgos, a town in western Pangaainan also being eyed as a possible relocation site of the provincial jail to help house the anticipated large number of drug users and pushers who had voluntarily surrendered.

At the same time, he pledged that the provincial government may also provide further assistance to the Philippine National Police as more persons involved in the illegal drugs trade and drug users are surrendering. PNA/