By Chito Chavez
To support the government’s call for a drug-free workplace, the Quezon City Anti-Drug Abuse Advisory Council (QCADAAC) has linked with the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) for the implementation of the annual drug test to all city hall employees.
In 2015, Quezon City passed Ordinance SP-2460 or the Quezon City Drug-Free Work Place ordinance that requires all officials and employees in the offices of the Quezon City government to undergo annual drug testing to ensure the maintenance of a safe and healthy work environment.
“We expect that the implementation of an annual drug test for our employees will be more efficient. This is to strengthen our drive for a Drug-Free Workplace in Quezon City,” said QCADAAC Chair and Quezon City Vice-Mayor Joy Belmonte.
Belmonte reported that in 2018 almost 23,377 government employees, barangay officials, staff, and Tricycle Operators and Drivers’ Association (TODA) members have completed the annual drug testing since 2016.
She noted regular drug testing is an effective measure to curb illegal drug abuse among public servants.
“We are striving to keep illegal drug abuse away from our employees so that it will never penetrate our workplaces especially the offices of the Quezon City local government. We will work closely on this to ensure that we maintain a safe and healthy work environment,” she added.
Quezon City has also partnered with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in a bid to combat illegal drug abuse in private establishments such as hotels, restaurants, bars, subdivisions, condominiums, and warehouses by requiring employees to be educated on the harmful effects of illegal drug abuse.
Belmonte also reminded business owners in the city regarding the existing drug-free workplace ordinance.
Based on the ordinance, the city’s Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO) is mandated not to renew permits for businesses that will not provide records that their employees are 100 percent drug-free.
Julius Avenido chief of staff of BPLO head Garry Domingo assured the office’s strict compliance to the drug-free workplace ordinance.
On orders of Domingo, Avenido said that BPLO inspectors are discretely monitoring nightspots known to have been used as drug transaction venues.
In the event of such occurrences, Avenido said that BPLO personnel concerned were trained to contact anti-narcotic agents at “the soonest time possible’’.
He also urged the public to report any mulcting BPLO inspector to ensure that the full force of the anti-illegal drug campaign is enforced.
Avenido issued the call to rid the BPLO with scalawags adding that whistle blower’s identity will be “treated with full confidentiality”.