One-strike policy vs. drug use in gov't pushed

In photo: DDB Chairman (Secretary) Catalino Cuy, DILG Undersecretary Austere Panadero, Assistant Secretary Ricojudge Janvier Echiverri and PNP Directorate for Operations Head (Police Director) Ma. O Aplasca. Also in the photo are DDB Undersecretaries Jose Marlowe Pedregosa and Earl Saavedra. (Photo courtesy of DDB)

MANILA -- Taking President Rodrigo Duterte’s marching order to intensify the campaign against illegal drugs in his State of the Nation Address (SONA), the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) convened the country’s law enforcement bodies to improve the implementation of the government’s one-strike policy against illegal drugs in the workplace.

Earlier this week, Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra endorsed the DDB’s one-strike policy and its enhanced execution, as a way for the government to intensify the campaign against the drug menace.

In a meeting organized by DDB Chairman Catalino Cuy, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) were asked to submit proposals to strengthen the enforcement of DDB Board Regulation No. 2, series of 2017, which mandated a sanction of dismissal at first offense for government officials and employees who will be found positive for using illegal drugs.

In a statement Friday, Cuy said the local government must also be included in the policy’s implementation.

“Since this policy was institutionalized as of February 2017, it is essential that we reiterate its implementation up to the level of the local governments. We look forward to supplement the existing Board Regulation on the one-strike provision by establishing clear protocols and mechanisms on the processes and procedures,” Cuy said.

He said he hopes to attain the changes and improvements in the policy when the DDB Board convenes on August 8.

Among the salient provisions the DDB looks forward to address are the requirements for random drug-testing, the administrators of drug testing procedures in the national and local government levels, the required due process for those found positive for illegal drugs and the disciplining authority on illegal drug violations.

“We would like to instill the importance of accountability, integrity and moral ascendancy among our ranks in the government service. It is our primordial obligation to be law-abiding citizens and lead by example. Being a drug free individual is a major step. This is the reason why we (at the DDB) are serious in our pursuit to lay down the directions that will strengthen our anti-drug priorities,” Cuy said. (DDB PR)