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900 firms still not drug-free workplaces

Some 2,400 service industry business establishments already complied with the “drug-free workplace” policy as requirement for the renewal of business permits since the start of the month.

City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (CADAC) technical adviser Ronaldo Rivera bared that of the 2,700 total number of service industries in the city recorded by the Business Bureau, 300 of which have not yet complied with the requirements of CADAC.

However, Rivera said that there are additional business establishments that also increased the number of their employees as their businesses are also rising these days. Figures now rise to 900 business firms that have not yet completed the requirements.

“So we are still checking for the final records of the Business Bureau following that some companies have increased their number of employees that have not been reported to the Business Bureau. So right now, we are validating and harmonizing the data,” he said during yesterday’s iSpeak media forum at City Hall.

The 900 firms are given until the end of March. “Those who cannot comply within the deadline will not be able to operate.”

City Ordinance 0506-13 or the Drug Free Workplace Ordinance mandates all business establishments that are service by nature, with 10 or more employees, to do drug-testing as compliance for the renewal of business permits. Failure to comply the said requirement would delay the release of their business permits.

“Companies should really undergo testing as it is mandated in our city laws. This law is also supplemented by DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment),” he said.

“In case if a business firm employee resulted positive in the test, he/she will not be terminated immediately,” he said, encouraging business establishments to help their companion by giving assistance and referring them to the programs of the CADAC in support for the rehabilitation of drug-users. “Take care of your people,” he said.

Terminating an employee, Rivera said, would only cause risks to the company, the family of the involved and even the community. He said the condition may worsen due to frustrations and the like.

Recently, Business Bureau chief Marissa Torentera also reminded business owners, especially those who are involved in the service industry such as fast-food restaurants, to comply with the requirement needed for them to have certification from the CADAC. Business establishments should conduct a random drug test to all of their employees.

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