CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama was not happy when asked about the result of his drug test.

Rama said this should be confidential.

He was also adamant that he does not want to be told by the City Council to undergo a drug test.

People thought he would defy the council by not undergoing the drug test, but he discreetly submitted himself to a screening last Thursday.

The day before, all members of the council underwent the drug test conducted by the City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (Cosap).

Disrespectful

Dr. Alice Utlang, Cosap chief, also confirmed that all members of the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (Cadac) underwent the drug test last Thursday after its regular meeting.

Rama is Cadac chairperson.

During his regular press conference, a reporter asked the mayor to confirm the result of his test.

Rama said asking for the result of a person’s drug screening test is disrespectful.

“It is not proper to announce the results. If there is a problem, let the person silently go to HRDO (Human Resource and Development Office),” he said.

Drug tests should be handled with utmost confidentiality, he said.

Rama said even if they are public servants, they shouldn’t make a big publicity out of a drug test.

“I had my time. I do not have to explain furthermore,” he said.

The drug testing among elected officials was done because of the corollary motion of Councilor Alvin Dizon, who said officials should set a good example to the City Hall employees, who will be subjected to a drug test based on a resolution penned by

Councilor Richard Osmeña.

City Ordinance 1829

All these are based on 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.”

The ordinance was authored by Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella in 2000, when he was still a councilor.

The ordinance was passed because in October 1999, two City Hall employees and a barangay tanod were arrested peddling drugs in front of the City Hall building, while inside a government vehicle.

“This incident which took place right in front of the City Hall building involving City Government employees sends a strong sign of the extent of the illegal drug trade and trafficking in the City,” read the accompanying resolution of CO 1829.

Also that year, nine employees of the city abattoir were dismissed after they tested positive for drugs.

According to the ordinance, a drug test should be a pre-employment requirement for those who intend to work for the City Government.

The test will be administered by the City Health Department and Cosap.

According to Section 5 of the ordinance, results will be held in strict confidence.

For employees whose screening test come out positive, appropriate action will be determined by the City Legal Office and HRDO.

“Refusal to submit to the drug test herein mandated shall be sufficient ground for dismissal of the employee who unjustifiably refuses to undergo the test,” CO 1829, Section 7 reads.

Rama was among the councilors who voted for the passage of the said ordinance.