Cavite lawmaker bats for drug test for all elected officials
MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker wants all elected public officials to undergo a random drug test.
Cavite 4th District Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. on Wednesday said he plans to file a resolution on the random drug test all members of the House of Representatives.
He said he would likewise request the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to require all governors, mayors, and even barangay officials to be tested for drugs.
“This is one way of preventing our politicians from being drug dependent at the same time we can restore confidence to our people,” Barzaga said during the House Dangerous Drugs Committee hearing.
“I think all the law enforcement agencies should also conduct random drug testing in so far as their personnel is concerned,” he added.
Barzaga said that public officials who will refuse to be tested would be presumed to be drug dependent.
“He (DILG Secretary Eduardo Año) can state that those public officials who refuse to submit to them random drug testing, they can be suspended, they can be terminated for cause, considering the program of the present government regarding the eradication of the drug problem,” the Cavite representative said.
AKO Bicol party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. said that the drug testing should be made mandatory for elected public officials.
“Why don’t we make it mandatory on those elected public officials? We say that public office is a public trust and they should all times be accountable to the people,” Garbin said.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) officials who were present in the hearing welcomed Barzaga’s proposal.
PDEA Deputy Director General Gregorio Pimentel also pointed out that the Civil Service Commission (CSC), as well as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), have already issued policies for a “drug-free” workplace in the government as well as the private sector.
House Dangerous Drugs Committee chairman Robert Ace Barbers said he already filed a resolution urging fellow lawmakers, their staff and personnel to undergo random drug tests. /gsg
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