50 brgy. workers positive of drugs

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014


THERE are now 50 barangay workers found positive in the ongoing drug testing by the Cebu City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (Cosap).

The last seven barangay workers that tested positive were from Barangay Sambag I.

They were tanods and loaders, confirmed Sambag I Barangay Captain Lemar Alcover.

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“If this is the situation in the barangay hall, how much more in the community?” Alcover told Sun.Star Cebu.

The seven barangay workers comprise 10 percent of the total number of 78 barangay workers that underwent the drug testing.

Sambag I is categorized as level 2 barangay by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7. This means the barangay is “moderately affected” by the drug problem in the
city.

It was also the first time the barangay requested to have a drug test, according to Cosap’s record in the last five years.

Alcover is not convinced that seminars help much in stopping the drug problem.
“Frankly, I’m not convinced with the seminars because even young children know the negative effects of drugs. It’s up to the person to have proper guidance,” said Alcover.

Ill effects
Cosap Chief Dr. Alice Utlang disagreed. He said that while it is up to the person, Cosap also has a job to remind the people of the ills of drugs.

“Let’s show them the results, perhaps they didn’t see that,” she said.

Assistant Cosap Chief Ernest Herrera said the result of the drug test in Sambag I is alarming. He advised Alcover to monitor his workers.

There will be another surprise drug test for the seven Sambag I barangay workers in the next few months.

Alcover said he has implemented a 10 p.m. curfew for minors.

Peer pressure

He said it’s not an official curfew, but that he tries to break up gathering of minors after 10 p.m. because peer pressure is one of the basic reasons why minors get hooked on drugs.

Sambag I is the 10th barangay to undergo drug testing. It is one of the top three barangays with the most number of workers positive for drug use.

The others are Barangay Tisa with 14 employees and Barangay Kamputhaw with nine.

Over 700 barangay workers already underwent drug testing from the 10 barangays, including Apas, Mabolo, Tinago, Cambinocot, Pulangbato, Binaliw, Kamputhaw and Sawang Calero.

Only Pulangbato was declared a drug-free barangay hall after none of its 62 barangay workers tested positive for drugs.

Herrera spotted a trend in the drug tests. Most of those who tested positive are tanods and garbage collectors.

After the series of drug testing, Cosap will make a recommendation on how to curb the drug problem in the City.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 26, 2014.

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