SOME employees of the Cebu City Government who tested positive for drug use are still working in City Hall.

This was disclosed by Cebu City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (Cosap) head Dr. Alice Utlang before the City Council yesterday.

She appeared before the council to update the body on the results of the random drug test for city and barangay workers.

Utlang said that out of the more than 1,000 employees of City Hall who had the drug test, nine tested positive.

Councilor Margarita Osmeña asked where these employees are now.

Utlang said that one of them availed himself of the outpatient rehab program, which is provided for free by Cosap and its non-government organization partners.

Another employee, Utlang said, has stopped reporting for work.

The seven others still report for work in the offices where they are assigned.

Utlang said the seven employees have not availed themselves of the rehabilitation program.

When they learned about this, the council asked the Human Resource and Development Office (HRDO) to submit a plan to the legislative body detailing what they intend to do with the seven employees.

Mayor Michael Rama, though, had already instructed HRDO head Attorney Dominic Diño to terminate the contract of contractual employees who tested positive for drugs.

Rama said the HRDO should not wait for the employees’ contract to expire.

“There should be early termination because if something happens, that would be another problem… We are not in control of their minds. It can be dangerous,” he said.

As for the regular employees, Rama said they will be given due process.

Utlang also told the members of the council that they were already able to conduct drug tests in 37 out of the 80 barangays in the city.

Of the 37, eight barangays have been declared a drug-free workplace. They are Agsungot, Buhisan, Budlaan, Lusaran, Pulangbato, Tabunan, Talamban and Taptap.

Recently, however, Utlang said they removed Agsungot and Buhisan from the list after one employee in both villages tested positive for drug use in another round of drug test.

When asked what happened to the barangay workers who tested positive, Utlang said some of them availed themselves of Cosap’s rehabilitation program while others were terminated by the barangays.

Councilor Philip Zafra, president of the Association of Barangay Councils, told the council that they will come up with a set of guidelines on hiring barangay workers to make sure that they are not drug users.

Zafra said that barangay workers should not be into drugs because they are the frontliners in the delivery of basic services.

Utlang welcomed this, saying that the drug problem in the city is everybody’s concern. PDF