Drug-using workers can get help getting into rehab: Labella

CEBU City Mayor Edgardo Labella will help enroll in a rehabilitation center those City Hall employees who tested positive for drug use during the surprise drug tests conducted by the Cebu City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (Cosap) earlier this month.

“If they seek my assistance for rehabilitation, I will help them,” Labella said.

Cosap started conducting the drug tests last Nov. 8, 2019. As of Nov. 21, 37 employees had tested positive. Five of them who were assigned at the City Market Division have resigned.

Labella also made it clear that the concerned employees will still receive their additional bonus of P20,000, which the mayor recently signed. However, it will be prorated, he said.

He said the coverage of their bonus will be from the time they started working at City Hall up to the time they were caught testing positive for drug use.

Some 1,479 employees from 11 offices at City Hall had undergone the drug test.

Labella said the number of drug-positive employees was alarming. However, it also shows that Cosap is doing its job well in implementing City Ordinance 1829 that requires all City Hall employees to undergo compulsory drug testing.

The City Legal Office already issued a show-cause order to all drug-positive employees.

Due process must be observed for the two regular employees who tested positive, Labella said. For the casuals, their contract will not be renewed if they can’t come up with a valid reason for testing positive.

The mayor said he will not tolerate employees who are involved in illegal drugs.

Cosap officer-in-charge Jonah John Rodriguez said all results will undergo confirmatory testing, which takes up to 30 days.

He said they will continue conducting drug tests until all City Hall employees, including officials, will be tested.

The Cebu City Government has around 5,000 employees. (JJL)