PDEA: Workers tested positive won’t be jailed

PDEA-11 Assistant Regional Director Lawyer Behn Joseph O. Tesiorna.

THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Davao clarified that those who will be tested positive for drug use during the conduct of random drug testing in their workplace under Executive Order (EO) 66 will not be jailed.

PDEA-Davao assistant regional director Lawyer Behn Joseph Tesiorna said that since the submission of employees for testing is voluntary then they will not be filing charges against them. This came amid apprehensions that those who will be tested positive in drug test will be prosecuted.

“I’d like to explain to the public just in case you would turn out positive under EO 66, there will be no criminal case that would be filed against you because voluntary man imong pag-subject into drug test,” Tesiorna said.

Authorities have been encouraging firms to enroll themselves for training on how to conduct random drug testing among their employees and formulate a three-year drug-free workplace treatment and prevention program as part of the requirement before acquiring or renewing their business permit for implementation of the provisions of City Ordinance 0506-13.

It is an ordinance requiring all companies employing more than 10 persons to have an anti-drug abuse program or a drug-free workplace policy. They must have a program to educate their employees, their families, and the communities on the ill-effects of illegal drugs, how to treat drugs and how to recover or manage it.

On October 29, 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte signed EO 66 that institutionalizes the implementation of the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy (PADS) and directing all government agencies, government-owned and controlled corporations, and state universities and colleges to implement the PADS in line with their respective mandates.

It also directed local government units (LGUs) to initiate holistic efforts in the anti-drug campaign from demand and supply reduction, treatment to rehabilitation and reintegration to achieve the vision of drug-free communities by 2022, and adoption of a drug-free workplace. It also mandates that all government personnel be subjected to drug testing.

Under the PADS, LGUs are also required to submit their respective list of rehabilitated persons, which will be the basis for declaring a barangay drug-free while persons deprived of liberty due to drug-related offenses cannot enter a plea bargaining if he or she has not undergone community-based rehabilitation.

“So what would happen is for you to be assessed, i-assess ng Cadac or concerned body to determine the severity of drug use. If proven nga severe gyud kaayo ka, it might entail that you will be put inside the treatment facility, meaning katong rehab center (Cadac or concerned body will determine severity of drug use. If drug use is severe you will be put inside the treatment facility). But if your drug use is just mild to moderate you just undergo a rehabilitation program na community-based,” he added.


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