Margarita c. Junia

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, — The Department of Public Works and Highways–Southern Leyte District Engineering Office is bent on helping employees find the way out of illegal drugs abuse by initiating the first step of the long road to recovery.

On Monday, District Engineer Ma. Margarita C. Junia gathered all of the more than 200 workers for a symposium on illegal drugs with speakers from the Department of Health–Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (DOH-TRC) in Dulag, Leyte.

After the half-day awareness drive, employees who tested positive of illegal drugs use remained for a one-on-one assessment, which lasted for an hour for each patient.

The assessment, done through lengthy interview, aimed at finding out the extent of drugs use and dependency and find out suitable rehabilitation process.

“I am a firm believer that there is a way out of drug addiction. This is a big effort because I consider you as my family,” Junia told the employees packed at the multi-purpose hall.

During the Aug. 17, 2015 drug test, 23 employees were found positive of illegal drugs use – 17 are job order workers and six permanent personnel.

All the six regular workers showed up while 12 laid off workers submit themselves to the assessment procedure. The other five declined the invitation.

Permanent employees are required to undergo a mandatory rehabilitation program. Dismissed job order workers are given the option to recover and regain their jobs after securing a drug-free certificate from DOH-TRC.

“If you still want to work in DPWH, I encourage you to help yourselves completely abandon illegal drugs use because this is your only and last chance,” Junia reminded the audience.

The SLDEO will provide a space at the Area Equipment Service compound in Barangay Ibarra for the conduct of weekly session for drug users. The session will run for 10 months, according to DOH-TRC personnel.

The DOH-TRC staff lauded Junia for initiating the drug test and assist drug users recover from the damaging effects of drug abuse.

To sustain the drug-free workplace program, DPWH-SLDEO will draft a policy, outlining regulations and sanctions for violators. (PNA)