BACOLOR -- As part of the National Government's campaign against illegal drugs, local officials and government employees of this town underwent a surprise drug examination last Monday, September 18.
Mayor Jose Mari Hizon, who also submitted himself to drug examination, said around 500 officials and employees of the municipal and barangays were instructed to participate in the drug testing, which started on Monday.
The drug testing facilitated by the Municipal Health Office will base results on the urine samples taken from the participants, Hizon said.
He said the activity is part of the local government's contribution to cleanse the country from the proliferation of illegal drugs.
"This is long overdue, but we wanted to start first on our government agencies because I believe, you must first clean your own house before cleaning somebody else’s," he said.
Hizon said the drug examination started with the local officials, police officers and fire marshals who are tasked to enforce the war on drugs.
He said the agencies must first ensure disengagement with prohibited drugs before reprimanding others.
"The people will not believe us if we ourselves violate the law that we implement. But with this activity, we hope we can cast away their doubts and altogether unite against the use of illegal drugs," Hizon said.
Hizon, however, clarified that the drug examination among officials and employees is not mandatory.
He said everyone can exercise their right to refuse, but urged them to participate if they have nothing to hide.
"I do not force them to submit themselves, but I urge them because what is there to hide? Now if you will not participate, then the people might conclude that you are hiding something," he noted.
Hizon said the official results of the drug examination are expected to be released by next week.
All employees and officials who will test positive will be given proper sanctions as ordered by law, he said.