THE Philippine Drug Enforcmeent Agency headed by Director General Aaron N. Aquino simultaneously launched a massive advocacy campaign to promote a drug-free workplace in hotels, restaurants, bars, condominiums, subdivisions, and warehouses.
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.
“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 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,” Aquino said.
He explained that 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 drug laboratories.
“We need to educate owners of business establishments to prevent illegal drug activities to thrive in their facilities. We also urge lessors of warehouses, condominiums and houses to regularly inspect their properties to prevent their establishments from being used as drug laboratories and warehouses,” Aquino said.
The campaign urges owners of business establishments to implement a drug-free workplace policy, 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.”
He said among the topics to be discussed are the current drug situation and important features of Republic Act 9165, or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002; identification of clandestine drug laboratories, modus and concealment methods used by drug syndicates; and drug abuse awareness and prevention inside the workplace.
“Based on past PDEA operations, drug laboratories and storage facilities for illegal drugs were dismantled inside subdivisions and condominiums. Illegal drug transactions are actually happening discreetly inside hotel rooms, restaurants and bars. Some drug personalities use their condominiums and apartelles as drug dens where illegal drugs can be bought and used,” Aquino pointed out.
“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,” he added.