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MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, May 5 (PIA) -- A provincial board member here has warned about a sudden drug testing activity to be undertaken for employees in the provincial capitol, with dismissal from service as consequence for being found positive of illegal drug use.

Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) Member Atty. Abelardo Almario issued the stern warning in an interview during a recent cable TV program Provincial Report in which he was the guest.

Told that the element of surprise may be lost now that he has announced the possible conduct of drug test soon, Abelardo said this has to be done so the employees can be aware.

Earlier, Gov. Roger Mercado also did the same thing on warning the employees during a Monday flag-raising ceremony about three weeks ago, Abelardo said.

That a drug test can mean there are already employees hooked on illegal drugs, Abelardo simply replied, "there are many."

The planned unscheduled drug testing is one of the heightened strategies the provincial government has accelerated to show that it is serious in its campaign to rid the province of illegal drugs.

In one of the meetings of the provincial anti-drug abuse council presided by Gov. Roger Mercado, it was agreed to put up a reward money for anyone who can share information on the underground drug business that result to an arrest and eventually filing of a case in Court.

During those series of meetings the matter on drug test was taken up, will not only be among employees but will start among provincial officials, according to Gov. Mercado. (esg/mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)