SEVEN Cebu City Hall employees tested positive for illegal drug use after the random drug test by the City Office for Substance Abuse and Prevention (Cosap) yesterday, an offense that may cost them their jobs.

The employees are under the Department of Public Services (DPS), which is tasked to address problems on solid waste management and disposal, street cleaning, repair and maintenance of garbage trucks.

The workers form part of the 132 from DPS who underwent the random drug testing yesterday.

Positive

As of June 9, there are already 17 City employees who tested positive for illegal drug use, excluding the seven from the DPS, since Cosap will still have to conduct a confirmatory test on them, said DPS Chief Alice Utlang.

“This is not a good picture for the City and we need to do something about this,” she said.

As a result, Utlang said, they will conduct another series of seminars on the ill-effects of illegal drugs to City Hall employees.

“Last year, all of the employees already underwent the seminar, but we will recommend that we should do it again this year to refresh them about the consequences they will face if they are using illegal drugs,” she added.

Of the total number of those who tested positive, one is a regular employee while the rest are casuals and job orders (JO).

Utlang said they could avail themselves of the city’s drug rehabilitation program to help them recover and avoid illegal drugs.

However, under the city’s policy, committing such offense for casual and JO employees is tantamount to removal from service.

Requirement

City Ordinance (CO) 1829, or the “Ordinance Requiring All Employees of the City Government of Cebu to Undergo Compulsory Drug Testing as a Pre-Employment Requirement and Annual at Random Drug Check-Ups” provides that employees who will be found positive during the test will be terminated.

Utlang sent a recommendation to the City’s Human Resource Department Office on the status of those employees that are positive for illegal use.

The number of those who tested positive this year is higher than last year’s, although Cosap is yet to consider it alarming, Utlang said.

This is because, Utlang added, Cosap has administered fewer random testings to different offices and departments at City Hall last year.