Dgte holds continuous random drug test for employees

By Jennifer Catan-Tilos

Dumaguete City has been continuing its random drug testing for government officials and employees with the supervision of its Human Resource Management Office.

According to City Public Information Officer Dems Demecillo, this regular exercise is consistent with the firm commitment of Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo for a drugs-free workplace and as an intervention so that those engaged in this illegal vice will be identified and enrolled in a community-based rehabilitation.

Any employee found positive of illegal drugs use following a confirmatory test will be separated from the service until he or she completes the rehabilitation program and deemed fit to return to work, said Demecillo.

He added that dozens of employees were dismissed from the service last year after testing positive for drugs use and for failing to submit themselves to the rehabilitation program of the city.

Meanwhile, the city has received some 300 Rapid Diagnostic Test kits from the Energy Development Corporation (EDC).

The turnover of the kits was represented by Julius Teves of EDC, as the company’s contribution to the ongoing campaign to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

City Health Officer Dr. Maria Sarah Talla expressed gratitude to EDC for the donated RDT kits that will be utilized in the continuing surveillance of returning residents by the City’s Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

While the city has already procured about 2,000 RTD kits, the donation from EDC is a welcome addition to the supply of the local health department and increases its capacity to test additional PUMs (persons under monitoring) under surveillance.

PDEA NegOr intensifies brgy drug clearing

By Jennifer Catan-Tilos

Members of the Negros Oriental Provincial Peace and Order Council in a meeting led by
Vice Gov. Edward Mark Macias (5th from left, seated), vice-chair of the Provincial Peace and Order Council. (PIA Negros Oriental)

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) here recently reported that 71 out of 557 barangays in Negros Oriental are declared cleared from illegal drugs after receiving a certification by members of the Oversight Committee on Barangay Drug-Clearing Program.

However, Provincial Officer IA1 Gelly Robins Cataluña of PDEA reported in a Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting that out of the 486 drug-affected barangays, 290 are classified as slightly affected, 162 are moderately affected, 27 considered unaffected while seven barangays are seriously affected

PDEA is also focusing its operation on seriously drug-affected barangays in Poblacion, Basay; and Bagacay, Calindagan, Candauay, Looc, Piapi, and Cadawinonan in Dumaguete City.

Under the implementation of the Barangay Drug Clearing Program (BDCP), particularly the status and classification of barangays that are still drug affected, Cataluña said his team is set to visit more than 10 barangays in different municipalities and cities in the province.

The team will also regularly monitor barangays already declared as drug-cleared since the “drug cleared” status may be revoked if the barangay fails to maintain it, said Cataluña.

The PDEA agent also revealed that Negros Oriental serves as a trans-shipment point of illegal drugs from Cebu to Mindanao and vice-versa.

With that, PDEA sets to establish interdiction units at the airport and seaports to deter and catch drug syndicates and couriers sneaking in or smuggling illegal drugs.

It was noted that shabu remains to be the drug of choice among users and pushers in the province.

Included in PDEA’s anti-drugs campaigns is enhancing coordination with local government units (LGUs).

Cataluña said they need to go through the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) and that LGUs should prioritize the creation of rehabilitation centers as they have the capacity to create reformation and rehabilitation centers.

To date, among the LGUs in the province, only Canlaon City is set to establish the Bahay Silangan or rehabilitation center.

The Dangerous Drugs Board sets Bahay Silangan Guidelines for community involvement in reforming drug offenders into self-sufficient and law-abiding members of society.

Dgte jail declared drug-free

By Jennifer C. Tilos

Members of the Regional Oversight Committee confer the certificate declaring the Dumaguete City Female Dormitory as a Drug-Free Jail Facility in simple rites at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Region 7 in Cebu City. (Photo courtesy of City PIO/PIA7-NegOr)

The Regional Oversight Committee for the Jail Drug-Free Clearing Operation has declared and certified Dumaguete City District Jail-Female Dormitory as a Drug-Free Jail Facility.

The declaration was done following the deliberations at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Regional Office in Cebu City.

Jail Inspector Julia Sale, City Jail Warden, lauded the administration of Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo for their support and projects provided to the jail facility, which contributed to the increased security and preventing the proliferation of illegal drugs through various interventions.

The Regional Oversight Committee for the Jail Drug-Free Clearing Operation is composed of the mayor along with Hana Rea Tamse of Department of Interior and Local Government, Jail Supt. Efren Nemeno, Dr. Jaime Bernadaas of Department of Health, and PDEA-7 Director Wardley Getalla.

The team found no activity or absence of drug personalities from the drugs watch list, absence of drugs users, absence of illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia and other substances during the conduct of search and seizure operations in jail facility for three consecutive months and conduct of advocacy campaign and symposium on drug-free workplace in the jail facility.

The Philippine National Police, PDEA, and other law enforcement agencies periodically conduct random and comprehensive Greyhound operations in all the facilities of the city jail including drug tests of all jail guards and Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs).

Getalla said that after a thorough verification and validation, the City Jail Female Dorm PDLs and personnel have been cleared of any illegal drugs report and no links or involvement to any illegal drugs activities.

Meanwhile, the city jail male dormitory is also complying with the requirements to earn the same certification from the regional oversight committee.

The Regional Oversight Committee noted the city government has installed CCTV cameras in the city jail for increased monitoring of illegal activities, provided drug testing kits through the City Health Office, and provided food subsidy for the jail population.

The city also provided fuel subsidy, implementation of a moral recovery program for drug dependents, medical missions, after-care program that produced former PDLs who are now employed, and allocated funds for the construction of perimeter and secondary fences of the city jail facility including a multi-purpose building and drainage canal.