Officials and staff of the country’s policy-making and strategy-formulating body on drug prevention and control undergo drug testing on Monday administered by the National Reference Laboratory.
The Dangerous Drugs Board Chairman, Sec. Benjamin P. Reyes, also submitted to drug testing along with more than a hundred members of the DDB staff. This is part of the agency’s “Drug-Free Workplace Policy” which entails the conduct of regular drug tests to help ensure that employees remain free from the influence of drugs.
The DDB hopes to set an example to other agencies and organizations “We wish to affirm that we, the members of the DDB, uphold what we preach. A drug-free country is possible because we, ourselves, are drug-free,” Sec. Reyes said. He ensured however, that should there be officials or employees who will test positive for drugs, they will be dealt with accordingly.
As per the DDB drug-free workplace policy, an employee who will test positive on drugs will be subjected to a Drug Dependency Examination (DDE) to find out the degree of the employee’s drug abuse problem and will undergo an appropriate treatment program or intervention. However, those who will be found positive on drugs for the second time will be dealt with more severely and may either be suspended or dismissed from the service.
DDB officials and employees’ drug test results are expected to come out in two to three weeks.
Other agencies and organizations are also directed to adopt their own-drug free workplace policy and program.
In 2004, the DDB issued Board Regulation No. 2, Series of 2004 that provides for the formulation and implementation of a drug-free workplace program and authorizes the conduct of drug testing to all offices, bureaus, and agencies of the national and local government, government owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) and other learning institutions such as state colleges and universities.
For the private sector, the formulation of drug-free workplace policies and programs is also mandatory for companies or establishments employing 10 or more workers, as per Board Regulation No. 8, Series of 2003.
Aside from the conduct of drug tests, organizations are also encouraged to include programs that will raise employees’ awareness on the evils of illegal drugs in their policies.