PDEA promotes drug-free workplace in Pasig City

By Chito Chavez

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

A special project of PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino, the program was first launched as its pilot implementation site in Quezon City on February 21, 2019.

The project aims to engage the management of these establishments, including security agencies, to implement their own drug-free workplace program, educate employees on the ill-effects of dangerous drugs, and conduct random drug tests for all their officers and employees embodied in Dangerous Drugs Board No.8, Series of 2003 or “The Guidelines for the Implementation of a Drug-Free Workplace Policies and Programs for the Private Sector.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron N. Aquino (KEVIN TRISTAN ESPIRITU / MANILA BULLETIN)
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron N. Aquino (KEVIN TRISTAN ESPIRITU / MANILA BULLETIN)

Aquino stressed the anti-drug advocacy program is not mainly for the promotion of a drug-free workplace but rather to stir awareness on the modus operandi used by drug syndicates.

Big time illegal drug dealers had used high-end subdivisions, hotels and condominiums as drug dens, laboratories and warehouses to conceal their illegal activities.

The activity was attended by the PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino; Mayor Roberto Eusebio, of Pasig City; Joel Plaza, Regional Director, RO-NCR; and PDEA officers.

Among the target establishments are hotels, restaurants, bars, condominiums and warehouses as the manufacture and proliferation of illegal drugs was being put up in subdivisions and condominiums, most recent is the dismantled large scale clandestine laboratory in Oceanaire Luxurious Residences in Pasay City last September 25, 2018.

During the launch, Aquino, together with Pasig City Mayor Roberto Eusebio urged all business establishments in the city to implement a safe and drug-free environment in the workplace, 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 discussed during the activity held at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Pasig 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 formulate and implement a drug-free workplace program, including mandatory drafting and adoption of company policies against illegal drug use,” Aquino explained.

The PDEA chief said the program also aims to educate owners of hotels, bars, restaurants, condominiums, subdivisions and warehouses’ owners to identify potential drug laboratories, drug dens and drug warehouses as these are being used by drug syndicates in the manufacture and storage of illegal drugs due to less detection risk as shown by recent anti-drug operations of PDEA.

Aquino also urged lessors of warehouses, condominiums and houses to regularly inspect their properties to prevent their properties from being used as drug laboratories and warehouses.

“PDEA has seen clandestine drug laboratories set up inside subdivisions and condominiums. Illegal drug transactions are actually happening inside hotel rooms, restaurants and bars because illegal drugs can be exchanged discreetly. Some drug personalities were even billeted inside residential condominiums and appartelles, and use the place as drug dens where illegal drugs can be bought and used,” Aquino pointed out.

“We are one in promoting a working environment free from the influence of illegal drugs in the public and private sectors as this allow personnel better health and safety, at the same time increasing productivity. This is a win-win situation for both employers and employees,” the PDEA chief concluded.