Ensuring drug-free workplaces, neighborhood is our job

September 21, 2019

I join the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in calling on all Filipinos to help promote a drug-free workplace all over the country. If we really love our only country, we must all join hands to ensure there will be no drug users in our workplaces and neighborhood and be sure to immediately call authorities if we see tell-tale signs of illicit drug trafficking and abuse.

The job belongs to all fathers and mothers in our country. We should take note of what is happening to our children, relatives, neighbors, co-workers and even our ‘kasambahays’ and be responsible enough to promote the government’s war on drugs, not thru lip service only.

Thru the years, I have heard countless stories about neighbors and friends—many of them public servants, both appointed or elected, some are law enforcers while others are barangay officials— whose relatives were into illegal drug abuse but did nothing about it.

Some contacted me for help in sending their kids, brothers or sisters to drug rehabilitation centers but later stopped calling me when their family members started crying, not wanting to see their drug-using relatives inside rehab facilities for fear it would become a family scandal and for other reasons known only to them.

As a result, their kids, siblings and other relatives turned into ‘monsters,’ either developing into drug traffickers who have been neutralized by the police and the PDEA or are still on the run. Many have become what we call as ‘taong-grasa and suffering from mental deprivation which is a very far cry from their former stature.

Last Friday, PDEA chair, Director General Aaron Aquino led the simultaneous launching of a massive advocacy campaign to promote a drug-free workplaces in hotels, restaurants, bars, condominium, subdivisions and warehouses across the country.

The advocacy campaign engages the management of hotels, restaurants, bars, condominiums, subdivisions, and warehouses, including security agencies, to implement their own drug-free workplace program.  It was first implemented in Quezon City last February 21, followed by Pasig City last March 26, Muntinlupa City last April 23, and Makati City last August 28.

Aquino said that a main priority of the program is to reintroduce and compel business owners to conform with the requirements of Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 8 Series of 2003 which mandates all private establishments employing 10 or more workers to adopt company policies against illegal drug use, including education of employees on the ill-effects of dangerous drugs, and conduct random drug tests for all their personnel.

The anti-drug advocacy program also instills awareness on the modus operandi used by drug syndicates, such as converting high-end subdivisions, hotels, and condominiums into drug dens, distribution hubs, chemical warehouses, and clandestine drug laboratories, the PDEA chief said of his pet project.

This is really a noteworthy government project since we have known for a fact that clandestine laboratories and storage facilities for illegal drugs located inside posh subdivisions and condominiums have been smashed by the PDEA and the police. Add to them the fact that illegal drug transactions and drug use are actually happening discreetly inside hotel rooms, restaurants and bars as evidenced by a number of arrests and seizure.

As Aquino who happened to be a retired police general said, “a drug-free working environment promotes a positive atmosphere for businesses.  It proves beneficial to both employees and employers as productivity of the personnel improves while profits in the business increases.” Very well said General.

CALLING on LTFRB CHIEF: PRESIDENT DU30 WILL SURELY SLAP ONE OF YOUR MEN

On my way to a lunch in Manila last Friday ( I had lunch with Journal Group boss Gus Villanueva, People’s Tonight editor Tess Lardizabal, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, former Manila Mayor Fred Lim and some important friends), the driver of a Grab taxi which I took from Camp Crame told me how he and many drivers have been idolizing PNP chief, General Oscar Albayalde and NCRPO chief, Major General Gilor Eleazar for their no-nonsense crackdown against rogues in uniform.

Totally stranger to me, the cabbie said that since the start of the Duterte administration, he has not experienced being mulcted by a traffic policeman. However, he said that there are still some MMDA and local traffic officers who are involved in ‘kotong’ and which should be identified and arrested by the PNP.

The man also said that he also had a ‘bad experience’ with an LTFRB inspector assigned at the agency’s meter calibration division. He said that when he recently went to the LTFRB office in Quezon City to have his meter calibrated and resealed, the inspector did not directly ask him for money but just uttered to him the words ‘Wala ba tayong pangkape diyan,?.” The driver said that after giving the LTFRB inspector P200,  his paper and new taxi meter seal were released within 30 minutes.

The cabbie said he took pity of other fellow drivers who don’t have money to spare. “Sir, parinig lang yung sa Inspector na yun. ‘Wala ba tayong pangkape dyan,” yung lang and maririnig mo sa kanya kaya kung nakakaintindi ka, magbibigay ka para mapadali ang transaksyon mo. Ang siste lang ditto, kung sampu o mahigit pa kami na magbibigay sa kanya ng P200, kikita siya ng mahigit P2,000 sa isang araw, ibig sabihin mas malaki pa ang kita niya sa manager ng banko,” the cabbie told me. President Duterte, who has asked Filipinos and even foreigners  to slap any government employee who asks money for his service,  won’t like to hear that story from a simple taxi driver.