BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan requested the City Health Services office (CHSO) to finalize the final report of the results of the drug test conducted recently on officials and employees of the local government to guide decision-makers on the appropriate steps to prevent the public servants from being involved in the use of prohibited drugs that might compromise their ability to render quality service to the people.
The local chief executive said the results of the mandatory drug test conducted on the 1,700-strong work force is just an initial step as those who will be found positive for the use of prohibited drugs will have to undergo the required confirmatory test and other prescribed procedures to contest the results prior to the conduct of investigation on them.
“We have to make it clear that the results of the mandatory drug test on city officials and employees are just preliminary results because those who were able to test positive will have to undergo a stringent process. We should not be judgemental on the matter because the process will go a long way before concluding that aan individual is involved in the use of illegal drugs,” Domogan stressed.
Initially, City Health Officer Rowena Galpo informed city officials during their regular Monday meeting that there are already five employees of the local government who tested positive for illegal drugs but the final report has yet to be finalized and subsequently submitted to the local chief executive for further assessment and evaluation.
Domogan declined to identify those who tested positive during the mandatory drug test because there are still a number of procedures that will have to be undertaken before a conclusive decision will be derived from the series of tests on the officials and employees.
According to him, those who tested positive for the use of illegal drugs remain innocent until otherwise proven by the results of the succeeding tests that they must undergo that is why it will be unfair to them if their identities will be prematurely released to the public as it will surely jeopardize their integrity and credibility as public servants.
It can be recalled that all the city officials and employees of the local government underwent the mandatory drug test upon the marching orders of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to help rid the bureaucracy of unscrupulous officials and employees involved in the use of prohibited drugs that might compromise the delver of services to the people.
Domogan claimed some of the employees that tested positive for the use of illegal drugs already underwent counselling by experts from the city Social Welfare and Development Office and the City Health Services Office considering that they approached social welfare officers for them to provide them the needed assistance for them to be brought back to mainstream society.
He said the local government is supportive of the administration’s bid to curb the proliferation of illegal drugs which have merited positive results but it also as a down side, particularly the emergence of reported extrajudicial killings that is now being criticized by human rights advocates, thus, the need for law enforcers to take the necessary precaution in the implementation of their anti-drug operations to prevent innocent individuals from being caught in the crossfire.
By Dexter A. See