LINGAYEN, Pangasinan: The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) passed an ordinance making drug test mandatory for all provincial officials and employees.
Vice Governor and SP presiding officer Jose Ferdinand Calimlim Jr. said the measure was in response to Executive Order 84 issued by Governor Amado Espino 3rd to support the all-out war against illegal drugs waged by the Duterte administration and to ensure that public servants are free of the dreaded drug use.
“Drug abuse in the workplace may cause significant physical, mental or social dysfunction that affects not only the user but also the other people around him including his [colleagues and clientele],” the measure states.
Under the ordinance, a drug test shall be a required for all employees, including those on temporary status, by the provincial government offices.
An assessment of employees shall be done at least once a year with two testing methods: first, the screening test for the type of drug used; and second, the confirmatory test.
The ordinance penalizes an employee refusing to undergo the test with administrative charges while a positive-user employee, who declines to undergo a rehabilitation program, could face suspension or dismissal, in accordance with the Civil Service law.
Board Member Jeremy Agerico Rosario, author of the ordinance, said while the ordinance imposes the sanctions, it was primarily aimed at upholding and maintaining public trust in the provincial government.
Meanwhile, Espino said he will urge the Liga ng mga Barangay to adopt the same ordinance for enforcement in villages.
The multi-level Anti-Drug Abuse Councils in the province were alerted to set aside funds for their respective programs upon prodding by the provincial board.