Random drug test must begin with Barangay, SK people in drug list

 

 

By Rose de la Cruz

 

To weed out drug users and dependents among barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials and personnel, the Department of Interior and Local Government must initiate random drug testing to ensure that those elected to the post can’t do more harm to the community.

 

This was proposed by Rep. Ron Salo, Kabayan partylist and assistant majority leader, as he asked the DILG to also invoke RA 9165 (or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) in doing such random testing.

 

RA 9165 authorizes the DILG to conduct random drug testing of current or incumbent officials and employees of public offices.

 

Salo said the drug testing must be random, not to cover everyone in public service. Section 36 (d) also covers officers and employees of private offices. It is silent on the self-employed.

 

He also proposed that the DILG starts with those barangay officials whose names appear in the PNP drug watchlist.

 

The random drug testing must be done as soon as possible as it is only a month before the barangay elections. It should be immediately done in collaboration with Department of Health which has the manpower resources.

 

He also appealed to those who would be found to be positive to be subjected to disqualification proceedings observing due process provided by law.

 

The results of the random drug testing must be published before the elections so that the electorate will be duly informed.

 

This part of RA 9165, Section 36 (d), was not voided by the Supreme Court in its decision on November 3, 2008.

 

What the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional are Section 36 (f) and Section 36 (g). The other parts of Section 36 were not struck down.

 

RA 9165 mandatory drug testing is allowed for and covers applicants for driver’s license, as well as applicants for firearm license and permit to carry firearms.

 

For students in high school, college, and university random drug testing is what RA 9165 provides.

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