ALABEL, Sarangani (September 2, 2022) – The provincial government of Sarangani conducted a training and seminar on the ill effects of illegal drugs to Capitol employees on September 2, in a bid to promote and strengthen the drug-free workplace policy.
In partnership with the Human Resources Management and Development Office (HRMDO), the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) invited CEO Jerry Joseph Valderrama of the JJ Valderrama Behavioral Management Center to conduct the seminar for some Capitol employees.
Valderrama said the purpose of holding the Information and Education Campaign (IEC) on the Ill Effects of Illegal Drugs on Life, Social Functioning, and Mental Health “is to really understand the substance use and abuse disorder and the ill effects of these substances.”
Substance abuse or also called chemical dependency and drug addiction, according to Valderrama, can mean “alcoholism, abuse of prescription drugs, regular use of illegal drugs, and intoxicating self by inhaling petroleum-based products.”
Valderrama also provided the employees with information on the effects of substance use disorder on the brain, the individual as a whole, and its consequences on the family, the community, and the workplace.
“As much as possible, prevention is better than cure. They can prevent experimenting so they would not go further and be hooked on drugs, and for those who have tried, know that there is a government that is trying to help people suffering from this,” he said.
According to Jerome Valentos, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) provincial officer, the IEC is in line with Republic Act 9165 or the Institutionalizing of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and Repealing Republic Act No. 6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.
In Sections 47 and 48 of RA 9165, every workplace is mandated to implement the Drug-free Workplace Policy, and develop a national drug abuse prevention program which will include the mandatory drafting and adoption of policies against drug use in the workplace.
Valentos noted the drug-free workplace policy in Sarangani “is still active” through the conduct of “annual random drug tests and training and refreshers like this.”
He said PDEA and other partner agencies will help Sarangani to achieve the goal of Governor Rogelio “Ruel” D. Pacquiao that by the end of 2022, Sarangani will be declared a drug-free province.
“The realization of a drug-cleared province is kailangan mayroon ding mga active drug-free workplace policy ang mga LGU,” he added.
To be declared a drug-free province, Valentos said the four remaining barangays of the 141 barangays in Sarangani province should be declared drug-cleared as well.
Lizette Lopez, Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC) focal person, also encouraged the employees to “help the government in advocating to your families and communities about the ill effects of illegal drug use and abuse.” (Jori Mae R. Samillano/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)