Drug-free workplace policy to go full swing in Western Visayas

A memorandum of agreement (MOA) that would push for the full implementation of the drug-free workplace policy in private establishments will be formalized before the first quarter of the year ends.

Ma. Graziella B. Tanaleon, information officer of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 6 (Western Visayas), said on Thursday they were just finalizing the agreement that would be entered into by their agency, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and pilot local government units (LGUs).

The MOA will provide the impetus for the full implementation of the drug-free workplace policy in Western Visayas, Tanaleon said in an interview.

One of the things that will be included in the MOA is for LGUs to undertake the implementation of the drug-free workplace policy. We will include in the requirements that before a business permit or renewal permit is issued, DOLE has to certify that an establishment has complied or is exempted from DO (Department Order) 53-03, she said.

DOLE Department Order 53-03, or the guidelines for the implementation of a drug-free workplace policy for the private sector, mandates establishments that employ 10 or more workers to formulate drug abuse prevention and control programs and company policy against drug use, Tanaleon said.

PDEA, DOLE, and the LGU will work together to issue requirements that should be complied (with) by an establishment to make sure that they have a drug-free policy within their business, she said.

Tanaleon added that because the barangay drug-clearing program is in full force, they have begun tapping private establishments so business operators would know that their workers are not using illegal drugs.

The drug agency eyes to pilot the full implementation in the cities of Passi, Iloilo, and Bacolod. On January 28, PDEA met with the local chief executives and representatives of these cities to discuss the initiative.

This is a big program and our pilot areas are also major cities. Once we start with these big cities, we are positive that other municipalities in Western Visayas will follow, she added.

Last year, PDEA also launched Oplan Kalasag, an advocacy program on drug-free workplace where administrators, front liners, and security officers of hotels, restaurants, bars, subdivisions, condominiums, and warehouses were empowered in compliance with Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and DOLE DO 53-03, Tanaleon said.

This is a good program so there is no reason for us not to pursue it, she added.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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