THE over 100 barangay workers in Cebu City found positive for drug use were either fired or given second chances.

The Cebu City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (Cosap) believes it is better for the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) to come up with a uniform guideline on dealing with barangay workers found to dabble in illegal drugs.

Cosap Chief Alice Utlang also urged barangay captains to set aside funds for the drug rehabilitation program of their workers, as mandated under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Since last February, Cosap has conducted surprise drug testing in at least 35 barangays and other City Hall offices and departments.

So far, Cosap recorded a total of 106 barangay workers who tested positive for the use of illegal drugs.

But barangays differ in how they deal with these workers.

“Some of them chose to fire their workers from work while some chose to give a second chance that is why we need to be fair and come up with a uniform guideline,” she told Sun.Star Cebu.

Utlang already met with ABC president and Councilor Philip Zafra and other south district barangay captains to discuss the matter.

Since ABC has the authority to suggest to the barangays, Utlang said the organization should make the policy that supports the rehabilitation of the workers.

Zafra, for his part, said the ABC is considering the suggestion.

“We are amenable to that and we will be asking the assistance of Cosap in that aspect,” he also told Sun.Star Cebu.

By June, ABC will have a consultation with all the barangay captains for the formulation of the policy, in time for their quarterly assembly.

He will also include in the policy the provision that requires the barangays to set aside funds for the drug rehabilitation program of the workers found to be drug users.

“We are aware that most of the barangays are having problems with drugs and ABC will look into ways and means to strengthen our programs against it,” Zafra said.

Last Friday, barangay officials and workers from Luz and Kinasang-an submitted themselves to a surprise drug test administered by Cosap.

Of the 121 workers and officials in Luz, three tested positive while another confressed to Barangay Captain Rian Tante that he has been using drugs.

In Kinasang-an some 80 workers underwent the testing with one found positive for drug use. (RVC)