by Artemio A. Dumlao
BAGUIO CITY (August 26, 2010) — A drug-free bureaucracy is soon realized with the Civil Service Commission mandating all agencies of government including state-run colleges and universities to cleanse their workplaces from drugs.
Drug test, avocacy, education and training; and wellness programs as essential undertakings with respect to the realization of the National Drug-free Workplace Program will be mandatory on
all constitutional bodies, departments, bureaus and agencies of the national government, ocal government units; government-owned or controlled corporations; and state universities, said PDEA-Cordillera officer-in-charge Chief Inspector Edgar Apalla.
CSC Memorandum Circular Number 13, series of 2010 issued last July 28 prescribes these mandate where all officials and employees entering the government service shall be required to undergo drug test.
To realize a drug-free workplace in government, agencies shall organize orientation or education programs to all their officials and employees to increase awareness on the harmful effects and dangers of drug use and drug abuse in the workplace, the program said. They are also enjoined to display or post positive messages at their work premises about the importance of being drug-free.
All government agencies shall also initiate various activities that encourage their respective employees to lead healthy lifestyles at work and at home.
“Dismissal From First Offense”
Apalla said the program emphasis that any official or employee found positive for use of dangerous drugs shall be subjected to disciplinary or administrative proceedings with a penalty of dismissal from the service at first offense, pursuant to Section 46(19) of Book V of Executive Order 292 and Section 22(c) of its Omnibus Rules.
At the PDEA, drug test is a mandatory pre-appointment and pre-promotion requirement.
Emily Fama, spokesperson of the PDEA-Cordillera said what is more unto it, they hold unannounced, compulsory drug test for all its personnel, at least every six months. Hence, gone are the days when instead of fighting drugs, deep penetration agents (DPA) of government become drug dependents.
Drug dependency affects government performance and output. A worker’s drug problem has direct, damaging impact to the company’s performance, morale and success, explained Fama. “Sickness increases medical costs. Absenteeism reduces output due to loss of manpower. Deteriorating working relationship results in industrial relations problem.” Deadlines are missed and business transactions are lost due to unsound decisions and impaired judgments, she continued. Other effects of drug dependency among government workers are: excessive times are wasted during coffee and lunch breaks; quality of products or services declines; low quality or substandard products or outputs result in wastage of resources; properties are damaged due to sloppiness; pilferage, theft or embezzlement occurs.”
Worse, “agency secrets” are sold. Decline in worker’s discipline creates supervision problems and trust & confidence of the public is lost because of poor quality of products or services delivered to them, added Fama.
“National Drug Abuse Program”
Apalla added that section 47, Article V of the anti-drugs law (RA 9165) provides that the Department of Labor & Employment (DOLE), with the assistance of the Dangerous Drugs Board, shall develop, promote and implement a national drug abuse prevention program in the workplace to be adopted by private companies with ten or more employees.
Such program, he explained, shall include the mandatory drafting and adoption of company policies against drug use in the workplace in close consultation and coordination with the DOLE, labor and employer organizations, human resource development managers and other private sector organizations.
This though in 2008, the Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional paragraphs (f) and (g) of Section 36, Article III of RA 9165, requiring mandatory drug testing of persons accused of crimes and candidates for public office, respectively. In that same en banc decision, the SC also declared as unconstitutional Commission on Elections Resolution No. 6489, which implemented the drug testing among candidates.
But Apalla said, section 38 of the drugs law, clearly authorizes the drug test on any person arrested for violating the provisions of RA 9165.***Artemio A. Dumlao***