Drug testing only for HS, college students--DepEd

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

MANILA -- The Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday pushed for the enforcement of the law regarding the proposal of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to conduct drug testing of public school students.

In a statement released Tuesday night, DepEd said Secretary Leonor Briones met with PDEA, officials of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) and reiterated the drug testing must be random and be limited to high school and college students only as mandated by the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

During the meeting, PDEA, DDB, and PNP showed Briones their data on the dramatic increase in the number of children involved in prohibited substances and their proposed plan of action, the statement said.

“Nag-agree kami na kanya-kanya kami ng trabaho – sa amin ang preventive, sa kanila ang (We agreed that we have our own jobs - we do the preventive, they do the) enforcement. We have to respect what each of us are doing because we have the same goal, which is to fight illegal drugs,” she said.

DepEd stressed that President Rodrigo R. Duterte mandated the department to enhance the curriculum on drug education for learners nine years old and up.

“The important thing is, I think, all of us realize that the drug problem is not only a police problem, or an education problem, it’s a problem of society. And this can only be minimized if society also changes; We are engaged in the same battle, we are using different methodologies and we are focusing on different clientele,” she said.

DepEd, PDEA, DDB and PNP have agreed to provide each other advice, share information, and meet regularly to solve illegal drugs issues, the statement added. (PNA)