DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio ordered immediate termination of three City Hall job order employees who were found positive of illegal drug use during the mandatory random drug testing in October.
"During the drug testing under the Cadac (City Anti-drug Abuse Council) there are three employees from the (CTTMO) who were found positive so the department heads agreed that there will be immediate termination of their contracts," Duterte-Carpio said in an interview on Friday.
Based on the statement from Davao City Information Office (CIO), Michael Denton Aportadera, the action officer of the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (CADAC), said the three employees were among the 1,127 government workers who underwent the random drug test conducted since last month.
"We did the confirmatory test for the three employees after they tested positive, and it turned out that there were indeed traces of illegal substances in the urine samples submitted for the test," he said.
Aportadera noted that under the Civil Service Law, drug users in the government should face termination from service.
He said that the mayor wanted to ensure that government employees are living healthy lifestyles and do not use illegal drugs.
Aportadera said the October random drug testing was only the initial testing and the succeeding tests will cover all 12,000 employees of the City Government.
Duterte-Carpio admitted on Friday that she asked Aportadera to hold the random testing as she had observed that the successive testing may give avenue for those who are users to prepare for the test.
"The people are preparing for it, so the element of surprise is gone, so I told Aportadera to temporarily stop it and come up with another round unannounced," she said.
Duterte-Carpio said since drug use is a personal decision, the city is open to accept voluntary surrenderers who may want to undergo rehabilitation.
"Drug use is a personal decision of a person, but the city government is willing to help those who will submit themselves voluntarily into drug rehab or into consultation. We have competent doctors in the City Health Office (CHO) even before they will be proven positive with drugs," she said.
She said these three will not be given free drug rehab and their contracts were immediately terminated.
Duterte-Carpio guaranteed that those who will submit themselves for rehabilitation prior to the test can keep their jobs.
“I think it is their sincerity to submit even before the drug test, their will to change and their sincerity to keep their job would indicate that they deserve help, instead of waiting that they will be caught positive in random drug testing,” she said in vernacular.
She said that being caught positive in drug testing means lack of interest to undergo rehabilitation, and as to the case of the three fired personnel, their contract as job order were easily terminated due to the no employer employee relationship provided under the contract for job order.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on November 11, 2017.
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