Labella concerned with number of city hall employees who tested positive in drug test
CEBU CITY, Philippines—The number of Cebu City Hall employees who tested positive during the surprise drug tests is a cause of concern.
This was the statement of Mayor Edgardo Labella following the reports of the City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (Cosap) that at least 37 employees are now facing investigation for testing positive in the drug test.
Labella said the increased number of drug positive employees proves two things: that Cosap is doing its job, and that there is a need to intensify pre employment drug tests before hiring.
He praised the Cosap for its continuous surprise drug tests in the City Hall and barangays in order to campaign for a drug fee government.
The Cosap’s successful drug tests show the administration’s efforts to eradicate drug use in the City Hall.
Labella explained that the hurried hiring process during the start of his term may be the cause why there are a lot who tested positive.
When the mayor took over as the city’s top executive seat in July 2019, he said there were at least 3,000 positions to be filled at the City Hall.
One of the priorities of his administrations was to fill in these positions to ensure the smooth running of the services provided by the City Hall.
The hurried hiring may have forced a leniency in the pre-employment drug test.
This is highly discouraged by Labella especially since he passed an ordinance in 2000, as a councilor, to make drug test mandatory for pre-employment.
Yet he understands that with the transition period, there are many things to improve in the hiring process.
“Drug testing is mandatory before hiring, but considering this is a transition, the hiring was done hurriedly,” said Labella.
The mayor said he will direct intensified drug tests before hiring new employees, especially that some of the drug-positive employees have resigned from their posts.
He also said he will help those drug positive employees get started into rehabilitation if they want to. /bmjo
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