DAGUPAN CITY – Members of the Sangguniang Panglungsod (SP) underwent voluntary drug tests at the City Health Office on July 11.

This is in support of Resolution No. 7430-2018, requesting all elected and appointed government officials and employees in the city of Dagupan to undergo free drug test in authorized drug testing laboratories authorized, accredited and monitored by the Department of Health (DOH) consistent with the Republic Act 9165.

Councilor Dennis Canto, who authored the resolution, disclosed that the city councilors underwent drug testing to set an example for other government officials and employees to follow.

“This is in line with the president’s directive to counter drug abuse in the country. Government employees must also be drug-free to ensure efficient and effective public service, so we want to set an example today as the city’s elected officials,” said Canto.

Canto also lauded his fellow city councilors in actively participating in the drug testing which he hoped could encourage other elected officials and employees in the city to also to undergo the same.

Councilor Jeslito “Jigs” Seen disclosed that the initiative led by the SP was one way to “help raise awareness among the public, and must start here in the Sangguniang Panglungsod.”

In the same occasion, the city councilors also participated in a free counseling and testing for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) conducted by MYRNA’S CAFÉ (Model Youth-oriented Rendezvous of Networks preventing AIDS-HIV, Center for Adolescent/Adult Fertility Education), a recognized partner of the DOH.

Councilor Joey Tamayo, who also participated in the testing, underscored the need to be regularly tested for HIV.

“Somehow, some (way), somebody has to start. The (SP) started this initiative to encourage others to get tested. The HIV virus is dangerous and getting tested is also one way of making sure we are free from this virus.” said Tamayo.

Meanwhile, Councilor Alvin Coquia disclosed that  participating in the testing is one way of remaining transparent to the public as this is one of the many responsibilities of an elected official.

“This is one way to show the public that their elected officials are responsible and trustworthy. We have an obligation to be drug and HIV free. This is also to encourage those who are scared to get tested for HIV.” said Coquia. (Verdelle De Vera/CIO)