Davao City gov’t will not renew business permits if companies fail to draft 3-year drug abuse prevention plan

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 22 Aug) – The City Government of Davao threatened some 10,000 service-oriented companies here not to renew their business permits starting 2020 if they fail to create a three-year Drug Abuse Prevention Plan.

Donaldo Rivera, technical adviser for the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (CADAC), told ISpeak Media Forum on Thursday that the local government will be requiring the service-oriented firms to submit a plan in compliance with City Ordinance 0506-14, also known as the Drug-Free Workplace Ordinance, passed in 2013 when President Rodrigo R. Duterte was still vice mayor to his daughter, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Rivera said the ordinance took effect only in November 2018, following the completion and approval of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), or two years and four months into the bloody drug war campaign of the Duterte administration.

He said it took years to complete the IRR to make sure it is “efficient and flawless.”

The ordinance mandates “random drug testing in all establishments in Davao City, employing 10 or more employees.”

Rivera added the ordinance also requires firms to establish an assessment team composed of the owner of the company, occupational health officer, human resource, and representative of the employees’ association.

The team will enforce the three-year plan, containing the company’s policies and programs.

Workplace programs include advocacy, education and training; drug testing for officers and employees; treatment, rehabilitation and referral; and monitoring and evaluation.

Rivera urged the barangays to monitor if the companies comply with their three-year plans.

He said one of the tasks of the assessment team included, among others, educating the workers of the effects of illegal drug use and possible treatment for drug addiction.

He urged the companies to make their policies more “compassionate” to the workers who will test positive for drug use as, he explained, “addiction is a brain disease.”

For its initial phase, Rivera said they require only the service-oriented firms to comply, but added that establishments in other industries such as service and product-oriented establishments will be required to submit a plan before the Business Bureau.

Under the ordinance, the service-oriented establishments are those that offer and provide services for public utilities and facilities, transportation services, security services, and maintenance services, lodging and restaurant services, educational and social services, business services, and personal services.(Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)