By Ellson Quismorio
A solon has renewed his call for all members of the House of Representatives and their staff to submit themselves to a mandatory drug testing once the 18th Congress opens this July 1.
“While some may claim that it is unnecessary, I think all members of the incoming 18th Congress and their staff should submit themselves for a mandatory drug testing,” Surigao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said.
“New members of the uniformed service, public and private offices are being required nowadays to submit to a drug test. And why don’t we? Are we exempt from this?” asked the staunch anti-illegal drug advocate who won a fresh mandate for his House seat in the May 13 midterm polls.
The Mindanao solon is the current chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs.
Barbers, who is set to re-file House Resolution (HR) No. 15 filed last year seeking a “drug-free’ Congress, said the move was in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s total war against drugs, including against those labeled as “narco-politicians.”
In his resolution, Barbers requires all lawmakers, their staff, consultants, officers, and all employees of the House to submit to a mandatory drug test before assumption to office, and every year thereafter. Failure to comply shall be a ground to withhold salaries, wages, and benefits, in addition to sanctions provided by civil service laws and rules.