CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), General Eduardo Año directed all AFP uniformed and non-uniformed personnel to strictly follow the newly-approved drug-free workplace policy effective in all military camps and facilities nationwide.
“I am directing all Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines, and Civilian Employees of the AFP to affirm their commitment to unconditionally abide by the rules provided in the Department of National Defense (DND) Circular No. 13 or the Comprehensive Drug-Free Workplace Policy,” General Año declared.
Approved last 17 July 2017 by the Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, the policy provides for the institutionalization of the drug-free workplace policy and the adoption of the uniform guidelines on drug testing program.
The circular also stipulates procedures in the disposition of personnel found administratively liable of using illegal drugs and/or committing any prohibited acts under RA9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Under DND Circular No. 13, all personnel regardless of status are required to undergo annual mandatory drug testing as a requirement for retention in the government service. It will also apply to applicants and outsourced service personnel.
“The DND Circular requires all persons in decision-making positions from the Secretary of National Defense to all Generals and Flag Officers of the AFP, down to Division Chiefs of the DND and all its attached Bureaus to undergo the annual drug test,” said Colonel Edgard Arevalo, AFP Public Affairs Office Chief.
“Further, drug testing will be part of the requirements for promotion, schooling, and designations to key positions of all our members in the military, including our Civilian Employees,” Colonel Arevalo added.
Any personnel found positive for use of dangerous drugs will first undergo confirmatory testing, the result of which – if positive – may be challenged by the subject. If the person is found positive, he/she will be endorsed to the appropriate investigating body for the conduct of disciplinary or administrative proceedings.
Imposable penalties include dismissal or termination from government service (if Civilian Employee), discharge from military service (if Enlisted Personnel), and separation from service (if Military Officer).
“While the AFP has been conducting regular mandatory and random drug testing to its members, the implementation of DND Circular No. 13 shall reinforce our ongoing campaign against drug abuse,” Colonel Arevalo said.
“As we continue to support our administration’s thrust against illegal drugs, it is only appropriate that all of us in the Armed Forces of the Philippines are drug-free, and in the best physical, mental, and psychological condition,” said General Año.
“This will ensure that no one in the rank and file of the AFP is a drug dependent. It will manifest that AFP personnel are role models of discipline and propriety as public officers,” General Año concluded.