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Abalos eyes random drug-testing of employees in companies

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos on Thursdays said they are asking companies to conduct random drug testing of their employees to ensure a drug-free workplace.

“What is important, ang hinihingi talaga natin ay yung drug-testing. Kung mangyayari ito, lahat talaga matatakot na dahil trabaho na yan e,” Abalos told reporters in an ambush interview.

(What is important, what we are asking is drug-testing. If this happens, all people will be afraid because their job is at stake.)

On Thursday, Abalos and officials from over 100 companies signed a memorandum of understanding for the launch of an anti-drug policy in their workplaces including drug testing and penalties.

Some companies who signed the memorandum belong to construction, restaurant, banking, and electric industries, according to the DILG.

Abalos said the companies have the discretion in crafting their own respective rules and sanctions for the involvement of their employees in illegal drugs.

He also encouraged offering rehabilitation for people who use drugs and reminded the public to avoid discriminating them.

According to Abalos, the push for anti-drug policy in the workplace is part of the agency’s response to address the demand for illegal drugs. 

But Drug Policy Reform Initiative lead convener Atty. Kristine Mendoza opposed the move, saying drug test cannot determine if the person is problematic due to drug use.

“Hindi naman masasabi ng drug testing kung drug dependent ang isang tao. O kung problematic na ang paggamit niya o kung kailangan niya ba ng intervention,” she said.

(The drug test cannot determine if the person is drug dependent or his usage is already problematic or he already needs intervention.)

“Hindi rin ito minsan accurate. Hindi rin nito masusukat ng drug testing kung mahusay ba ang mga manggagawa sa trabaho,” she added.

(Sometimes it is not accurate. It also cannot measure if the workers are excellent at their jobs.) — RSJ, GMA Integrated News