PDEA launches drug-free workplace advocacy in Muntinlupa

MANILA The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Tuesday launched an advocacy program to promote a drug-free workplace in business establishments and subdivisions, this time in Muntinlupa City.

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino and Mayor Jaime Fresnedi led the activity, which was held at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex, Tunasan Baywalk, Buendia Street, in Barangay Tunasan, as they urged owners of business establishments in Muntinlupa City to implement a drug-free workplace policy, pursuant to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Order No. 53-03, or the Guidelines for the implementation of a Drug-Free Workplace Policies and Programs for the Private Sector.

Among the topics were the current drug situation and salient features of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Act of 2002; identification of clandestine drug laboratories, modus operandi and concealment methods used by drug syndicates; and drug abuse awareness and prevention inside the workplace.

One of the priorities of the program is to reintroduce and compel business owners to conform with the requirements of Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Regulation No. 8 Series of 2003 which mandates all private establishments employing 10 or more workers to adopt company policies against illegal drug use, including education of employees on the ill-effects of dangerous drugs, and conduct random drug tests for all their personnel, Aquino said.

The anti-drug advocacy program also instilled awareness on the modus operandi used by drug syndicates, such as converting high-end subdivisions, hotels, and condominiums into drug dens, distribution hubs, chemical warehouses, and clandestine drug laboratories.

We need to educate owners of business establishments to prevent illegal drug activities to thrive in their facilities. We also urge lessors of warehouses, condominiums and houses to regularly inspect their properties to prevent their establishments from being used as drug laboratories and warehouses, Aquino added.

A special project of the PDEA Chief, the program, which was first launched as its pilot implementation site in Quezon City on February 21, 2019 and followed by Pasig City on March 26, 2019, has engaged management of hotels, restaurants, bars, condominiums, subdivisions, and warehouses, including security agencies, to implement their own drug-free workplace program.

Based on past PDEA operations, clandestine laboratories and storage facilities for illegal drugs were dismantled inside subdivisions and condominiums. Illegal drug transactions are actually happening discreetly inside hotel rooms, restaurants and bars. Some drug personalities use their condominiums and apartelles as drug dens where illegal drugs can be bought and used, Aquino pointed out.

A drug-free working environment promotes a positive atmosphere for businesses. It proves beneficial to both employees and employers as productivity of the personnel improves while profits in the business increases, the PDEA chief added.

Last March 19, a storage facility for illegal drugs was dismantled at the Ayala Alabang Subdivision, Muntinlupa City that led to the seizure of 82.2898 kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, worth PHP836.4 million. The same day, 45 kilos of shabu worth PHP306 million was confiscated in a buy-bust operation in Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa City. Three Chinese nationals and one Filipino were arrested in both operations.

On Oct. 2, 2018, a manufacturing facility for Kush, or commonly known as Cannabis Indica, was dismantled inside a house in Ayala Alabang Village, Muntinlupa City and the operation also resulted in the seizure of more or less six kilos of the illegal hemp worth PHP7.2 million, various drug paraphernalia and the arrest of two maintainers.

From 2013 to 2019, there were 2,067 incidents of seizures of dangerous drugs were recorded in private establishments resulting in a total of 4,008 drug personalities arrested and PHP13,048,341,772 worth of illegal drugs confiscated, including 2,370.2166 kilos of shabu, 4.39 kilos of cocaine, and 1,728 pieces of ecstasy tablets, among others. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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