ALABEL, Sarangani (March 7, 2023) – The Provincial Local Government Unit of Sarangani conducted on March 6 an unannounced mandatory drug test to its officials and employees in a bid to achieve a “drug-free workplace” within the Capitol.
The drug testing was incorporated during the flag-raising ceremony and the National Women’s Month celebration at the Capitol gymnasium.
“As your governor, bound gyud ta nga ipatuman ang balaod to implement this through my Executive Order No. 5. This is pursuant to Section 2 of RA 9165 stating that it is the policy of the state to safeguard the well-being of its citizenry from harmful effects of dangerous drugs,” said Governor Pacquiao.
The governor issued EO No. 5, a directive establishing a “drug-free workplace within the provincial government of Sarangani,” as among the ongoing efforts in addressing the drug problem in the country.
On March 6, the Provincial Health Office, in partnership with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, led the drug test among Capitol employees and officials regardless of employment status.
Governor Pacquiao was among the first group of officials who submitted themselves to drug testing. Vice Governor Elmer de Peralta, the rest of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members, and several heads of offices have also undergone the test.
“Starting today, March 6, 2023, all employees of the PLGU Sarangani, from Job Orders/Contract of Service to Plantilla personnel, will be required to undergo drug testing. The testing will be conducted and administered by trained professionals from a Department of Health accredited facility to ensure accuracy and confidentiality,” the governor announced on Monday.
He urged his co-public servants to participate in the activity “ug maging active sa atuang pag promote sa drug-free workplace labi na diri sa kapitolyo, ug atuang suportahan ang mga lakang para mas ma-improve pa ang atong public service, public safety, and health.”
The governor also addressed the concerns of other employees who were startled with the initiative “that if magpositive sa drug test, aduna pay confirmatory test nga pagahimuon so dili kita magkabalaka. You will also be given the opportunity to seek treatment and support.”
He assured the employees that the confidentiality of test results and the accuracy of the testing methods will be guaranteed.
The surprise drug test is also pursuant to the Guidelines in Mandatory Random Drug Test for Public Officials and Employees embodied in the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Memorandum Circular No. 13, series of 2017. The drug test aims to ensure that the delivery of public service by the PLGU will not be compromised by the hazards of illegal drug use.
Employees who failed to submit to drug testing on Monday were directed to undergo the test for the second batch today, March 7. As stated in EO 5, any personnel who refuse to submit for drug testing, who tamper drug test results, and who are caught using or peddling drugs shall be charged of penalties or sanctions based on RA 9165, CSC MC No.13, series of 2017, and Dangerous Drugs Board Resolution No.2, series of 2004. (Jori Mae R. Samillano/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)
Photos by Jake T. Narte