LEMERY, Batangas: Despite the temporary suspension of the anti-illegal drug campaign upon orders of President Rodrigo Duterte, Mayor Eulalio Alilio instituted another strategy to combat the drug menace by implementing a new job hiring scheme – the “No Drug Test, No Hiring Policy.”
Alilio, a former police officer, said the policy is based on a recently passed resolution by the Sanguniang Bayan (Municipal Council), which was the basis of an ordinance making it mandatory for all job applicants to undergo and pass the drug test.
“With the new policy, we are determined to make our anti-drug campaign effective by starting out clean from among the employees. This way, we also help ensure that business is not hampered by problems on illegal drugs,” he added.
The mayor said the measure stemmed from “Resolution adopting the ‘no drug test, no hiring policy’ in all business establishments, entities and companies” in the town, filed by Councilor Geraldine Ornales.
The resolution is one of the legal strategies to deter the proliferation of illegal activities in the town.
Under a proposed ordinance, all business operators and their respective employees are obliged to require their officials and employees to undergo the drug test under a reputable and legally recognized drug testing laboratory.
The mayor pointed out that part of the ordinance provides that “the owners of business establishments, entities and companies, be it new or renewal applying for a business permit, shall undergo drug testing and the result is a prerequisite, [and]the same shall be part of the documents presented to concerned agencies.”
It already passed the first and second reading by the Sanggunian and Alilio said he expects that they will soon approve it in the third and final reading for his signature and publication so they can fully enforce the law.
He, however, added that they will implement the policy on the basis of the council resolution.
Meanwhile, since President Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs began in July 2016 more than 2,000 drug users and dealers have surrendered in Lemery.
Ban-o, town police chief, reported that Operation Tokhang and Double Barrel have netted several drug pushers while at least five of the 46 barangay (villages) in the town have been cleared and declared as drug-free.
Drug surrenderers were closely monitored and to ensure that they will not return to their old ways, Alilio employed them under the clean-up program of the Lemery Coastal Area to boost the local tourism industry.
The mayor recently made a request to Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas to appropriate funds for the construction of a drug rehabilitation center in the town to accommodate the mounting number of surrenderers.
He is yet to get a reply to the request.