By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental provincial government employees are ready to undergo drug testing after allegations surfaced that some of them were involved in the use and sale of illegal drugs.
Ruben Diamante, Progressive Alliance of Capitol Employees (PACE) president, said they fully support Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson’s proposal to conduct random drug tests among capitol employees.
Diamante added during their regular meeting on Saturday, August 5, PACE passed a resolution that they are prepared to voluntarily submit themselves for drug tests, adding that they support the calls of Lacson and Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz to have a “drug-free workplace.”
Lacson earlier said that random drug tests will be initiated if there is strong information indicating alleged drug use in the capitol.
Currently, the provincial government is coordinating with its Human Resource Management Office and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to conduct random drug tests on employees to address the circulating allegations regarding drug use and trafficking.
Last week, Diaz said the province previously conducted bidding for the drug testing, but it did not proceed due to the absence of a compliant bidder.
However, the bidding process will be reopened to conduct the random drug test.
Diaz said contract of service, casual and job order employees that will test positive for drug use will not have their contracts renewed.
He also reminded capitol employees to abide by the law, as illegal drug use can have adverse effects on their health and work performance.
Previously, local government units in the province, including its capital Bacolod City, conducted a series of surprise drug tests among its employees.
In Bacolod, a total of 53 employees of the city government tested positive for illegal drugs recently./DGB, WDJ