Cebu City Hall workers ordered to explain after they tested positive for drugs

THE 22 Cebu City Hall employees who tested positive for drug use were ordered by the City Legal Office (CLO) to explain their side.

The CLO instructed the workers to submit their explanation within 24 hours after receiving the show cause order, which was signed by City Attorney Rey Gealon.

If the workers fail to explain, the CLO would forfeit the opportunity it gave them to air their side.

“In the interest of justice, you are hereby directed to show cause in writing, preferably with the assistance of a counsel of your own choice, within 24 hours from receipt hereof why no appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against you for having been found using methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu during the surprise drug test,” read a portion of Gealon’s letter.

The drug test was conducted by the Cebu City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (Cosap) on Nov. 11, 2019.

Gealon said the CLO officers will investigate the 22 employees. He assured the investigators will give workers due process.

Termination from their employment awaits those who would either not submit themselves to the investigation or fail to present evidence disputing the Cosap’s findings, said Gealon.

The workers are from the Market Operations Division; Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enforcement team; Department of General Services; Parks and Playground Committee; City Registrar’s Office and the Operation Second Chance.

Only one of them is a regular employee, while the rest are casual and job-order basis workers.

The drug test conducted is pursuant to City Ordinance 1829, which requires all City Hall employees to undergo compulsory drug testing as a pre-employment requirement.

The ordinance, which was passed in 2000, also requires Cosap to conduct random drug tests, according to Cosap head Jonah John Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said they will conduct more surprise drug tests not only in City Hall but also in the city’s 80 barangays. (JJL)