By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
At least 27 employees of the Negros Occidental provincial government who flunked the drug tests last month will still face appropriate penalties, while confirmatory drug test results have yet to be released.
Provincial administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz II said they wanted to conduct confirmatory drug tests to find out the amount of illegal drugs in the system of the employees who were tagged as “drug-positive.”
Around 20 provincial government employees were initially tested positive for illegal drugs, followed by the additional seven personnel assigned from two provincial government-run hospitals.
Diaz said he already had a list of drug-positive employees and the departments they were assigned to.
However, he refused to say their identities and work status.
Diaz is also due to meet Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson on Friday, January 5, to discuss the drug test results.
Job order and contract of service employees who tested positive for drug use were not allowed to renew their contracts.
Some contracts were also not renewed due to employees’ poor work performance.
A total of 2,300 of the more than 3,000 casual, contract of service and job order employees of the provincial capitol, as well as elected officials, underwent drug testing on December 11 and 12 last year.
Earlier, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson downplayed the number of drug-positive employees, stating that it was not yet alarming.
However, he warned them that they would still face penalties./DGB, WDJ