In line with the filing of candidacy for the 2019 elections, the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) encourages the aspiring candidates to submit to the mandatory drug testing once they become elected as local public officials.
This is stated in the recently passed DDB Regulation No. 13, Series of 2018, which provides for the establishment and institutionalization of drug-free workplace policies in all government offices, including the conduct of authorized drug testing for local officials and appointive public officers.
The said regulation covers all appointive public officers in all offices, including all constitutional bodies, departments, bureaus, and agencies of the national government, government-owned and controlled corporations, state and local universities and colleges, and elective local officials of local government units. Any personnel who will be found positive for use of dangerous drugs at first offense will be charged with the administrative offense of grave misconduct and may be dismissed from public service.
Head of agencies or Local Chief Executives who fail to formulate or implement a Drug-Free Workplace Policy within two months after the effectivity of the Board Regulation will also be penalized under Section 32, Article II of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 or RA 9165. The penalty of imprisonment ranging from six months and one day to four years and a fine ranging from P10,000 to P50,000 are imposed to any person found violating any regulation issued by the Board.
DDB Chairman Secretary Catalino S. Cuy said that this initiative is pursuant to President Duterte’s order to strengthen all anti-drug efforts through imposing a stricter sanction for public employees including elective local officials and appointive public officers.
“As civil servants, we must lead by example of living a healthy and drug-free lifestyle. We cannot expect the Filipino people to be drug-free if we, ourselves, are involved in these substances,” Cuy said in a statement.
Board Regulation No. 13, Series of 2018 supplements an existing regulation on one-strike policy among government officials and employees through establishing clear protocols to ensure that the government sector remains drug-free. The regulation was signed on 30 August 2018 and took effect on 06 October 2018 after publication in three newspapers of general circulation.