DRUG tests are now mandatory for those who would want to enter government service, according to a recent memorandum of the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

CSC Memorandum Circular 13-2010 issued July 28, prescribes mandatory drug tests; advocacy, education and training; and general health and well-being programs as essential undertakings for attaining the Drug-free Workplace Program.

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All officials and employees in constitutional bodies, departments, bureaus and agencies of the national government; local government units; government-owned or controlled corporations; and state universities and colleges entering the government service are required to undergo the drug test.

Government agencies will be responsible for organizing orientation or education programs employees to increase awareness on the harmful effects and dangers of drug use and drug abuse in the workplace.

These agencies are also enjoined to display or post positive messages at their work premises about the importance of being drug-free.

Also, all government agencies will initiate various activities that encourage their respective employees to lead healthy lifestyles.

The circular said any official or employee found positive for use of dangerous drugs will be subjected to disciplinary or administrative proceedings with a possible penalty of dismissal from the service, at first offense.

PDEA-CAR acting Regional Director Edgar Apalla said in an interview with Sun.Star Baguio that in the Philippine National Police this requirement has already been enforced every time they get promotions and appointments.

He added they also hold unannounced, compulsory drug test for all personnel, at least semi-annually.

A worker's drug problem has direct, damaging impact to the company's performance, morale and success.

Dangerous Drugs Act provides the Department of Labor and Employment will develop, promote and implement a national drug abuse prevention program in the workplace to be adopted by private companies with 10 or more employees.

Such program will include the mandatory drafting and adoption of company policies against drug use in the workplace in close consultation and coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment, labor and employer organizations, human resource development managers and other private sector organizations. (JM Agreda)