Mandatory drug testing to cover all gov’t officials, employees
posted 27-Jan-2019  ·  
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All appointive public officers in all government offices as well as elective local officials of local government units will have to submit themselves to random mandatory drug testing under a recent regulation issued by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB).

Following the issuance of DDB Regulation No. 13, Series of 2018 last year, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed all provincial governors, city and municipal mayors, and punong barangays to ensure the adoption and implementation in their respective offices. The same directive covers appointees in all constitutional bodies, government-owned and-controlled corporations, state and local universities and colleges.

Officers and members of the military, police and other law enforcement agencies who already required to undergo annual mandatory drug testing are excluded from coverage.

“Any personnel found positive for use of dangerous drugs after the conduct of confirmatory test shall be subjected to disciplinary or administrative proceedings with a penalty of dismissal from the services at first offense,” the DDB regulation states.

Mandatory drug testing shall remain a requirement for initial entry to government service, it reiterates.

The board regulation is aimed at promoting the establishment and institutionalization of drug-free workplace policies in all government agencies and ensuring that all public officers, both elective and appointive, remain drug-free through the conduct of authorized drug testing pursuant to Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

“The public will be ensures of effective and efficient service from the government, free from the ill-effects of drug use in the workplace,” the agency added.

Under the Drug-Free Workplace Policy to be implemented, the agency is mandated to maintain a drug-free workplace, conduct substance abuse awareness and prevention programs, conduct mandatory and random drug testing to be conducted by a laboratory accredited by the Department of Health (DOH), and ensure adequate funding for the policy’s implementation.

The frequency of drug testing, which shall cover contract of service or job order employees, will take into consideration the number of public officers, nature of work being discharged, funding, among others.

The results will be kept strictly confidential, with only the agency head or local chief executive, and the members of an Assessment Team, to have access to such results. In case of a negative result, no further action is needed.

A positive drug test result from the confirmatory test shall immediately be known to the agency head, who shall notify the officer concerned. The officer has 15 days from receipt of the notice to challenge the result, with the same specimen subjected to a challenge test by another accredited lab and with all expenses borne by the officer.

“A positive test result from the challenge test is deemed final and the public officer shall be subjected to administrative proceedings,” the DDB regulation states.

Failure to file a challenge within the prescribed period shall make the positive drug test result from the confirmatory test final.

Prior to the conduct of such test, a public officer who has alcohol- or drug-related issues and problems may seek proper intervention in coordination with an Employee Assistance Program to be jointly implemented by the agency, the employees and their union. Such assistance, however, is not applicable to those found positive for drug use after the conduct of confirmatory test.

Any agency head or local chief executive from the province down to the barangays who fails to formulate or implement a Drug-Free Workplace Policy within two  months after the effectivity of the regulation shall be penalized under RA 9165.

An appointive public officer who refuses, without any valid reason, to submit himself/herself to authorized drug testing, or is found positive for drug use, shall be charged with the administrative offense of Grave Misconduct, while an elective public officer who does the same shall be subject to disciplinary action for misconduct in office.

Tampering with the result, interfering with the conduct of the test or in the release of the results, or violayed the rules of confidentiality of records will earn the violator a Grave Misconduct charge.

All local Sanggunians are mandated to enact their respective ordinances mandating the establishment of drug-free workplace policies within two months from the regulation’s effectivity.

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