DND execs, personnel undergo mandatory drug test

MANILA In line with the government's ongoing campaign against illegal drugs, the Department of National Defense (DND) on Thursday announced that it has subjected 408 of its personnel to mandatory drug testing last December 12.

Of the number, a total of 296 are civilians while 112 uniformed DND personnel.

Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, undersecretaries, and assistant secretaries of the department were among those subjected to drug testing.

"This is the second year that the DND Proper has been subjecting its personnel to mandatory drug testing as a requirement for a drugfree workplace as mandated by Republic Act 9165 (The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002)," he said in a statement Thursday.

He said the annual conduct of mandatory drug testing is in line with the commitment of the DND to uphold the safety, health and wellbeing of its personnel, and to promote a drugfree workplace.

The activity is also in consonance with the general guideline stated in Department Circular No. 13 approved by the Secretary of National Defense on July 17, 2017, entitled Comprehensive DrugFree Workplace Policy which provides that "All personnel regardless of status are required to undergo annual mandatory drug testing as a requirement for retention in the government service.

"The policy applies to all personnel, both civilian and military assigned in the different Bureaus (Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, Office of Civil Defense, National Defense College of the Philippines, and Government Arsenal) of the Department," Andolong said.

He said the DND considers dangerous drugs use, drug addiction and dependency as a serious misconduct.

Any personnel found positive after confirmatory test for using dangerous drugs shall be charged administratively with a penalty for dismissal at first offense.

The first mandatory drug testing in the DND was conducted on Dec. 7, 2017.

Out of the 346 personnel who were subjected to mandatory drug testing last year, two personnel were found positive for tetrahydrocannabinol, a substance found in marijuana.

As a consequence, the contract of service of the two personnel, who were both on job order status, was terminated in compliance with the one strike policy of the DND. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency