CHO memo nixes mandatory drug, neuro tests for teachers

THE DEPARTMENT of Education (DepEd) revealed Friday the revised guidelines of the City Health Office’s requirements for the annual physical exam of teachers and non-teaching staff, nixing the mandatory drug and neuro test.

In an interview, DepEd administrator Gerald Pil said the CHO had written the DepEd as early as Feb. 12.

The memo, signed by CHO chief Josephine Villafuerte, said the teachers and staff of the DepEd can be accommodated by the health office, following three different guidelines, including clearer instructions on the mandatory drug and neuro tests.

The teachers and non-teaching staff will only be required to take drug and neuro tests upon the recommendation of the physician handling the employee’s physical exam.

For the annual physical exam, DepEd employees are only required to have blood tests, urinalysis, fecalysis and chest x-ray.

The teachers being reinstated will be required similar tests, minus the chest x-ray.

Pil said it has always been the CHO that required the mandatory tests. The CHO was tapped by the DepEd as its de facto medical office.

Villafuerte, in a previous interview, clarified that she saw nothing wrong with the requirement, as they were abiding by a Civil Service Commission memorandum requiring government officials to be tested.

However, Villafuerte said the Dep Ed should have given the CHO its definition of ‘reinstatement,’ because the CHO understood the term differently.

She added that it’s acceptable as a practice for doctors to require mandatory tests, especially because the employees were handling pupils.

Members of ACT were scheduled to protest last Friday the memorandum signed by Schools Division Superintendent Helen Paguican, which originally required the test for the teachers.

However, Pil himself said there were other issues the teachers have been protesting.

Teachers here have complained about the biometrics unit they are using for logging in for work.

β€œI think that it is high time that we review the biometrics system,” Pil said. β€œIt has been three years since we first implemented the biometrics.”

The teachers’ organization has been asking for a wage hike of P25,000, citing cost of living and other factors. There are around 8,000 teachers in the Davao City division.

Posted in Latest News