By Chito Chavez
In compliance with the government’s policy on a drug-free workplace, the People’s Volunteer against Illegal Drugs (PVAID), a non-government organization recognized and accredited by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) conducted a surprise drug testing to executives and employees of a Filipino-owned financial firm in Makati City.
Executives and employees of the First Tree Ventures, Moneybees Forex Corporation, and Paylance, Inc. at Icon Plaza Buillding, Bonifacio Global City, Makati City, voluntarily submitted themselves to drug testing, a move to deter the potential infiltration of illegal drugs into the workplace.
Retired Col. Rodrigo Bonifacio, Chairman of the Board and CEO of PVAID said the drug testing process was done in two approaches, the surprise procedure to all employees of First Tree led under its Chairman of the Board Marieta Cruz and Moneybees and Paylance President Jay Ricky Villarante down to the lowest staff of the company and anti-drug awareness program.
Bonifacio emphasized that “the program is part of their commitment to the government in promoting the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy and its three pronged approaches particularly the drug demand reduction through preventive education and values formation.”
“The NGO will continue to promote the National Anti-Drug Campaign to encourage the private sectors cooperation and support for more vigorous and concerted effort in saving the lives of every Filipino family away from the drug menace,” Bonifacio said.
The drug testing in private workplaces is being conducted in accordance with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Order NO. 53-03, “Drug Free Work Place” mandating employers to require their officials and employees to undergo random drug testing in accordance with the company’s work rules and regulations for purposes of reducing risk in the workplace.
According to the DOLE, employers shall be responsible for increasing awareness and education of their officers and employees on the adverse effects of dangerous drugs as well as monitoring of employees susceptible to drug abuse.
Bonifacio hopes that all private firms will be able to toe the line in consonance with President Duterte’s campaign to eradicate the drug menace in the country.
The three-year relentless anti-drug operations of the police and other law enforcement agencies has so far netted thousands of either drug pushers and users, including government personnel and employees in the private sector.
Philippine National Police records showed that 3,897 drug personalities who resisted arrest during the series of police operation from July 1, 2016 to January 17, 2018.
So far, a total of 2,577 kilos of shabu with a street value of P13.24 billion have been seized.