Mining firm adopts drug-free workplace

The management of Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) is stepping up its anti-drug campaign among employees through a strict implementation of programs and policies to ensure a drug-free workplace.

Engr. Ventutimo S. Masindo, RTNMC admin division manager, said that even before the government launched its war on illegal drugs, the company has drafted policies and programs to institutionalize the monitoring and other initiatives related to illegal drugs.

RTNMC implements a NAC Drug-free Workplace Program and Policy (NDWPP), which is a requirement of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) standards of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)

“All provisions in that NDWPP have to be properly implemented and addressed especially that the policy has penal provision,” said Engr. Masindo.

This initiative, according to Engr. Masindo is a show of support to the government’s mandate on drug prevention. The policy is discussed with every employee or worker of RTNMC making sure that this was understood.

A drug assessment team was organized by the company in coordination with the members of the labor union who is supportive of the management’s anti-drug program.

“To really strengthen our drug prevention program, we have a laboratory and a hospital that we can use in order to conduct a random sampling of all employees,” he said.

The drug testing laboratory of RTNMC is the only facility in southern Palawan and is accredited by the Department of Health (DOH). The company has already tested 160 employees and all turned out negative.

Prior to the start random sampling of employees, the company has given employees a 30-day period to give them (employees) the chance to change but according to Masindo when the sampling commenced the employee tested to be positive will be automatically terminated from service with the company.

New employees are required to undergo drug test regardless of employment status. The policy also extends to its contractors.

The testing uses urine specimen to check and when it turned out positive the company will send the sample to the East Avenue Medical Center for a confirmatory test.

The company has observed changes in their employees which translated into a productive and peaceful community.

“The purpose of the company why we have this policy is to ensure that we have a drug-free workplace. Our townsite is free from possible consequences if there are no people who are into drugs,” he said.

RTNMC is located in the southernmost part of Palawan which is the backdoor of the province and is vulnerable to many activities that might threaten its peaceful situation.

“This place could be a possible point of entry of illegal activities,” he said.

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