20 Cebu City Hall workers tested positive for drugs

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DRUG TEST. Cebu City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (COSAP) head Jonah John Rodriguez explains to the city government workers the procedure for the drug test. Rodriguez said on Friday (Nov. 15, 2019) that at least 20 employees of the Cebu City Hall were found positive for drug use. (Photo courtesy of Jonah John Rodriguez Facebook page)

CEBU CITY — Around 20 employees of the Cebu City Hall are facing dismissal after they were found positive of illegal drug use in a series of surprise drug tests, the head of the City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (COSAP) said on Friday.

Jonah John Rodriguez, head of COSAP, said the number of employees found positive of illegal drug use rose to 20 after another two workers from the Parks and Playground Commission of the city government were found positive during the latest drug test conducted on Thursday.

The worker, a woman in her 50s, was forced to undergo the drug test despite her insistent not to give her urine sample, claiming that she was not feeling well, he said.

The woman pretended she was fainting when the personnel from COSAP was about to take her urine sample.

“Her age was 50 something. It was very funny as before the drug test was announced, she was so very active. But when I discussed to them the procedure of the test, she felt as if she was fainting and acted as if she was so weak,” Rodriguez said in Cebuano in a radio interview.

The woman insisted she would not give her urine sample because she was weak, but they were able to explain to her the consequences of her refusal to undergo a drug test.

“Under section 7 of City Ordinance 1829, refusal to undergo drug test would treat her positive of drug use. So we were able to force her to undergo the test, like any other,” he added.

Another nine individuals from Barangay Lusaran this city were found positive after the drug test. However, COSAP will still find out how many are officials and employees of the barangay as the count included drug surrenderers in the test.

Rodriguez said the number of city and barangay workers who are drug addicts is expected to rise, as more than 80 officials and employees in Barangay Mabolo underwent drug tests on Thursday, as requested by its former barangay chair now City Councilor Niña Mabatid.

Mayor Edgar Labella vowed to dismiss job order and casual employees of the City Hall found positive of drug use.

The lone regular employee assigned at the Civil Registrar’s Office who was also found positive will be given due process, he said.

The mayor said he tasked City Legal Officer Rey Gealon to investigate the regular employee found positive in the past drug test by COSAP.

He said that COSAP will continue to surprise employees with drug tests in order to make the City Hall here drug-free and in support of the anti-drug drive of President Rodrigo Duterte. (PNA)

The Philippine News Agency is a web-based newswire service of the Philippine government under the supervision of the News and Information Bureau (NIB) of the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).

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