MAASIN CITY, Aug. 4 — To support the nationwide smoking ban and the call to end the drugs menace in the country, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) field office here launched on Thursday the drug and smoke-free workplace program.
“The program will surely raise productivity, efficiency, and safety of workers, thus improving the overall performance of our office,” said Ma. Margarita C. Junia, DPWH Southern Leyte district engineer.
The department will identify staff that will form the task force and monitoring team for strict and effective implementation of the program.
Hundreds of DPWH employees affixed their signature to support the campaign.
Junia said that although President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order 26 enforcing the nationwide smoking ban, the office is still waiting for the implementing rules and regulations.
The rules are expected to shed lights on issues such as appropriate disciplinary actions for violators.
In 2015, Junia ordered a surprise drug test to all DPWH Southern Leyte personnel, where 23 of them were found positive for illegal drugs use.
However, only 16 out of 23 opted to join the rehabilitation program, and 15 have actually completed the 11-month recovery process last year.
“Although, we cannot tell that our office is 100 percent drug-free already, I’m more confident now that we have conducted the necessary actions and hoping that as we continue this campaign, we can achieve our ultimate goal,” Junia said.
As it was promised, those who have completed the recovery program were given the chances to work again in DPWH.
The nationwide smoking ban took effect on July 23 or two months after the President signed Executive Order No. 26 “Providing for the Establishment of Smoke-Free Environments in Public and Enclosed Places.”