Vice Mayor Quitain open to drug test for city council employees

Jun. 09, 2024
Davao City Vice Mayor Melchor Quitain Jr.

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Davao City Vice Mayor Melchor Quitain Jr. said he is open to have city councilors and their staff members take surprise drug tests after a call was raised by other officials to do so.

This comes after Surigao del Norte Representative Robert Ace Barbers and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) raised this proposal amidst reports that government employees are into illegal drug use.

A few weeks ago, 37 members of the city’s Public Safety and Security Office (PSSO) were dismissed after testing positive for illegal drug use in surprise tests taken on May 3 and 13.

“If there’s a statement like that, just to prove that even in the government we are not exempted from that,” the vice mayor said in an interview last Wednesday.

He added that wanted the drug test conducted randomly or as a “surprise” so that employees cannot avoid or prepare for the testing.

“We can do that, there’s no secret naman. Nothing wrong with that,” Quitain said.

The vice mayor said the city government employees have been required to take an annual drug test, but said he would leave it to respective offices to take an extra step by requiring random testing.

Meanwhile, the Davao City Police Office clarified that the dismissed 37 PSSO personnel are not employed in their ranks nor are they police officers as reported by some media and social media posts.  

The PSSO are personnel hired by the city government under job orders and are assigned under the Civil Security Unit assisting the city’s security forces in maintaining peace and order in the city.

Davao City officials and the public are touting the city’s strict enforcement against illegal drugs, a campaign popularized by the city’s former mayor and president Rodrigo Duterte.

But recent news has shown illegal drugs are still proliferating in the city, as last week the Task Force Davao intercepted 14.4 million pesos worth of shabu at the city’s border checkpoint. (

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