BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Labor and Employment - Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency - Cordillera (PDEA-CAR) have joined hands against illegal drugs in the Cordillera Administrative Region.
The RCC Technical Working Group and the information arm of PDEA-CAR will convene next week to finalize the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) the DOLE-RCC member agencies and PDEA which is aimed at strengthening the fight against this social menace.
DOLE-CAR OIC Regional Director Exequiel Ronie A. Guzman, Chairman of the RCC and PDEA-CAR Regional Director Edgar Afalla agreed on the provisions, roles and responsibilities of both agencies for various programs and activities for the elimination of Drug Abuse in the Cordilleras most especially in workplaces.
Guzman said under the MOU the primary role of PDEA-CAR is to provide technical assistance to DOLE-CAR and the RCC such as resource speakership, information materials for information drives and activities; assist on drug-related concerns.
He added that the DOLE Department Order No. 53, series of 2003 requires all establishments to adopt drug-free workplace policy and program to ensure a safe and healthy workforce. It is mandatory to all private establishments employing 10 or more workers to formulate and implement drug abuse prevention and control program in the workplace and also to adopt a policy against dangerous drug use and alcoholic abuse among its employees.
Workplace policies and programs on drug abuse prevention and control to be adopted by companies shall include, among others, advocacy, education, and training; drug testing program for officers and employees; treatment, rehabilitation, and referral; and monitoring and evaluation.
The Department Order likewise states the roles, rights, and responsibilities of both employers and employees; as well as the enforcement and the consequences, in case of illegal drugs policy violations.
“DOLE-CAR will encourage their clients and stakeholders to attend anti-drug education, information dissemination and campaigns with the goal of achieving drug-free workplace, while the RCC member agencies namely Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), Regional Tripartite and Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB), Employees Compensation Commission (ECC), National Reintegration Commission for OFWs (NRCO) and the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) will check the possibilities of granting livelihood packages and other programs and services for deserving individuals who wish to integrate back to society after rehabilitation.” The Director added.
The DOLE RCC and PDEA will provide advocacy trainings for the promotion and implementation of a regional drug abuse program for their personnel including those in the provincial offices in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
Meanwhile, PDEA-CAR Director Afalla expressed full support to the agreements and initiatives from DOLE RCC to support the National Anti-Drug Plan of Action 2017-2020 and the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) tasks and duties in the war against drugs.
“The Philippine Government thru President Rodrigo Roa Duterte confronts the drug menace with its five pillars of action adopted namely Drug Supply Reduction, Drug demand reduction, Alternative Development, Civic Awareness and Response” Afalla added.
Related to this, the Civil Service Commission has reminded all government agencies on Memorandum Circular No. 13 Series 2010 which has set the Guidelines for A Drug Free Workplace in the Bureaucracy and encourages for the adoption of an anti-drug campaign and projects to ensure a drug free workplace.
“The DOLE remains committed to cover more establishments for assessment for the year 2017, and embark into a more vigorous campaign to urge all companies to promote drug-free workplaces, and ultimately to ensure that the region’s labor force is protected from the injury caused by the use of illegal drugs,” Guzman added.
END/Patrick T. Rillorta