EIGHT job-order employees of the Lapu-Lapu City Government tested positive for illegal drugs.

They were among the 200 employees under the Clean and Green program who underwent the random drug test last Tuesday morning.

Dr. Rodolfo Berame, head of the City Health Office, said those who did not submit urine samples and left will not be allowed to retake the test.

“They should have undergone the test on the day it was scheduled. They might have done something to rid their system of any trace of illegal drugs,” he said in Cebuano.

Last Tuesday, the health office told the employees that they had a meeting with the mayor at the sports center. When they got there, they were told about the drug test.

Mayor Paz Radaza already told the eight job-order employees who tested positive that their contracts will not be renewed and their services will be terminated immediately.

Radaza said city employees who use illegal drugs have no place at the Lapu-Lapu City Government.

No budget for rehab

Other City Hall employees will be subjected to random drug tests soon.

In a related development, 937 drug users have so far surrendered in Lapu-Lapu City, as of July 11.

The mayor announced that the City had formed a core group to monitor the users and to evaluate who among them should undergo rehabilitation or get livelihood assistance.

Radaza added that they are looking for companies to hire some of the surrenderees.

However, they must be monitored by police otherwise the City would be put in a bad light for recommending them, she said in Cebuano.

Radaza also announced that the City will not shoulder the rehabilitation of surrenderees, but they can avail themselves of group therapy.

Aside from not having a rehabilitation facility, the City also doesn’t have the budget for it, she said.

In Mandaue City, a job-order employee at City Hall was fired after he was allegedly caught sniffing drugs during Operation Tokhang in Barangay Guizo last Tuesday.

Arrested with Patrick Castañeda, 54, a resident of the barangay, was Lucile Sacay, 32, a resident of Barangay Ibabao Lapu-Lapu City.

Zero tolerance

Insp. Hugo Ipong of Police Station 1 said the two were arrested inside Castañeda’s house, a known drug den in the area.

According to Ipong, the suspects were on the list of the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council.

Castañeda, for his part, said he was on his way to work when the police arrived.

He admitted that he received random visitors to his house.

Mayor Gabriel Luis Quisumbing, in a Facebook post, said: “We have a zero-tolerance policy for drug abuse in City Hall. For the employee that was caught with drugs tonight. Consider this your termination notice.”

Some 145 drug suspects have been arrested since Operation Tokhang was implemented in the city, while 786 drug personalities have surrendered. Apple Grace C. Danuco & Angelica Genodiala, USJ-R Interns