Capitol employees urged to voluntarily undergo drug test

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Officers of the capitol workers’ union urged employees of the provincial government of Negros Occidental to voluntarily undergo drug tests.

This, after the eight officers of the Progressive Alliance of Capitol Employees (PACE) who voluntarily underwent drug testing on August 9, 2023 yielded negative results.

Eight of the 11 PACE officers, headed by its president Engr. Ruben Diamante submitted themselves to a drug test on Wednesday conducted by Drug Point, a government-accredited laboratory.

“Let us not wait anymore that we will be forced or randomly tested. We should subject ourselves to whatever policies the provincial government will implement with regard to drug tests,” Diamante pointed out.

He further said their voluntary drug test is in compliance with a resolution they passed on Aug. 4 to show that Capitol employees are “drug-free.”

“We hope that this will serve as an example to the other employees of the provincial government to also submit themselves to drug tests,” he further said.

Diamante added that PACE paid for the drug test at P200 per head.

“Nobody forced us. We voluntarily did this,” he said.

Diamante also said they also received unconfirmed reports that employees are allegedly involved in illegal drugs, either as users or pushers.

“That is the reason why as officers of the union we are setting the example to other employees,” he also said.

Earlier, Negros Occidental provincial administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz said that the provincial government is investigating reports of alleged use and peddling of illegal drugs by some employees at the provincial capitol.

“We are validating reports on the use of illegal drugs, and even alleged drug peddling activities inside the capitol establishments,” Diaz told reporters here.

He further said that the provincial government is set to conduct another bidding for the purchase of drug testing kits to be used in the random drug testing of its employees after the first bidding failed.

He added that they are hastening the bidding of drug test kits “to really identify who they are.”

However, Diaz noted that “the rumors remain unsubstantiated, as of this time.”