No punitive action vs Kidapawan LGU employee found positive in drug test

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 9 April) – Despite being found positive in a drug test, an employee at the city hall here will not face “punitive action,” according to Mayor Joseph Evangelista.

The mayor said his order for a mandatory drug test to some 600 city hall employees last March was not “prosecutorial” but rather “rehabilitative.”

Traces of methamphetamine hydrochloride (or more popularly known as “shabu”) were found in the employee’s urine sample, data showed.

“We will not file a case against the worker. But we will help him recover from his drug dependency,” said the mayor.

The employee, whom the mayor refused to identify for reasons of “strict confidentiality,” will soon undergo a confirmatory test in Davao City.

“If the test again turns out positive, that’s the time rehabilitation begins. The therapy will depend on the worker’s level of dependency,” Evangelista said.

Meanwhile, none among the personnel, including non-commissioned officers, of the Kidapawan City PNP turned out positive on drugs.

Evangelista ordered for a mandatory drug test on March as part of his campaign to make city hall a “drug-free workplace.”

He has also intensified the local government unit’s massive anti-drug campaign in public schools and other government facilities outside city hall, including the city veterinary office, city hospital, and the office of the market administrator.

The mayor said he cannot allow any of his workers to continue with their drug addiction.

“Drug addiction affects relationships with family and friends. It also affects workers’ productive stage. This, I can’t allow. This is the reason why this drug test will continue,” the mayor said.