42 Cebu City Hall workers test positive for drug use

DESPITE President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against drugs, 42 employees of the Cebu City Hall were found positive for drug use.

They were discovered after a series of surprise drug tests.

Two employees tested for marijuana use, while the results of others showed they used shabu. One of them is an employee under the Office of the Mayor.

Jonah John Rodriguez, head of the City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (Cosap), said the results were from drug tests on Nov. 8-Dec. 1, 2019.

He said the results and the employees’ names will be submitted to the City Legal Office for investigation.

City Attorney Rey Gealon said 13 of the employees will be terminated. The Human Resource Development Office (HRDO) was directed by Mayor Edgardo Labella to issue the notice of termination to them.

Among the 13 employees who will be terminated, eight are from the Department of Engineering and Public Works, two from the Department of General Services, two from the Parks and Playgrounds Office and one from the Department of Social Welfare and Services.

“None has been meted a different penalty other than termination. We can only investigate administratively, pursuant to our mandate,” Gealon said.

Five employees resigned after they tested positive for drug use. Two others objected to the results.

Rodriguez added that they conducted the drug tests in compliance with Ordinance 1829, which requires all the City Hall employees to undergo a drug screening. The ordinance was authored by Labella when he was still a councilor.

Employees of 16 City Hall departments were already subjected to drug tests. Last Monday, Dec. 2, Cosap held another surprise drug test. Labella participated, showing that his administration is serious in the fight against drug abuse. (JCT)