By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday morning that more than half of the 27 provincial capitol employees who tested positive for illegal drugs were job order (JO) and contract of service (CoS) employees.
A small percentage were reported to be regular employees.
In a press conference yesterday, Lacson said he will reach out to the Provincial Legal Office on the administrative charges possibly to be filed against drug-positive regular employees.
He also affirmed that the JO and CoS employees that tested positive for illegal drugs were no longer allowed to renew their job contracts, and they will be replaced depending on availability.
Lacson also warned provincial government employees that they would continue to conduct surprise drug tests.
Meanwhile, in response to San Carlos City Mayor Rene Gustilo’s statement that the local government unit was being made as a hiding ground for illegal drugs from Cebu, Lacson said it is a long-running problem of the locality.
“We know that San Carlos City holds a busy port [connecting] Cebu and Negros Occidental,” Lacson said.
He added that whenever there is a busy port in a locality, such as San Carlos City, it can also become a natural pathway for drug couriers.
Lacson said it is possible that the drug couriers may be using other means to smuggle the illicit substance in the province, as some ports are already equipped with drug-sniffing dogs./DGB, WDJ