GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/20 August) – In a bid to ensure a drug-free workplace, officials and employees of the provincial government of South Cotabato underwent mandatory drug tests starting on Tuesday.
Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr., who was the first to undergo the drug test at the provincial hospital in Koronadal City, said he ordered the move as part of the continuing cleansing of the local government.
He was followed by the department heads and other key officials of the provincial government.
The governor said the test is aimed “to ensure that no provincial government employees are involved in drug use.”
“I made sure that we (officials) will be the ones who will take it first so there’s no reason for our employees not to follow,” he told reporters.
Tamayo said all permanent or regular and job order contract employees will undergo drug testing within the week.
The provincial government, which has over 1,100 permanent and job order employees, will shoulder the cost of the tests.
He urged members of the provincial board or the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to also submit themselves to drug tests.
Tamayo said all job order workers who will fail the test or turn out positive of drug use will be dismissed from service immediately.
He said the regular workers will be processed and face appropriate sanctions based on civil service rules.
The governor ordered the mandatory drug test for all provincial government employees after 58 inmates at the provincial jail or the South Cotabato Rehabilitation and Detention Center yielded positive of drug use during random tests last week.
He said they are currently determining how the supplies of illegal drugs, especially shabu, were able to enter the facility.
Tamayo said they are not discounting the possibility that some jail guards might be involved in illegal drug activities at the provincial jail.
During the crackdown, joint operatives recovered inside the cells three sachets of suspected shabu, cellphones and various illegal items. (MindaNews)