In line with its campaign to achieve a drug-free workplace, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) recently held an anti-drug abuse and general labor standards seminar for labor union leaders and employers.


The seminar was pursuant to DOLE Department Order No. 53-03 or the Guidelines for the Implementation of a Drug-Free Workplace Policies and Programs for the Private Sector which states that DOLE, together with the employers and employees, should work hand-in-hand in formulating policies and programs on prohibiting drug use in the workplace.


Director Benjo Santos M. Benavidez of the Bureau of Labor Relations said that the seminar on labor management information and employment guide, Gender and Development (GAD) and other women related laws, and drug abuse prevention in the workplace is one of the labor department’s ways in ensuring the protection, safety, and security of the employees in the private sector.


“DOLE is one with President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign in making the Philippines a drug-free country. We are one of the instruments to ensure that this goal is being reached. We hope to solicit support from our partners in the labor sector in achieving a drug-free workplace,” Benavidez said.


The BLR has also invited Ofelia Legaspi from the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) as a resource speaker to further elaborate on the hazards and detrimental effects of illegal drug use not only to the person but also to his or her surroundings.


Legaspi reminded the labor leaders and employers to conduct surprise drug tests to their officials and employees at least once a year to reduce the risk of drug proliferation in their workplace. However, strict confidentiality should be observed with regard to the drug test screening and results handling, she added.


Legaspi also encouraged the attendees to provide immediate assistance and advice should they know someone who starts to show signs of illegal drug use and addiction and refer them to government rehabilitation facilities.


Topics and issues on gender and development, as well as workers’ rights, social benefits, and general labor standards, were also tackled by Bureau of Working Condition (BWC) specialists Mafel Sanchez, and Belinda Banaag.


#Paul Ang

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