PDEA recommends mandatory drug tests for elementary students, teachers

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QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) wants elementary students to undergo mandatory drug testing.

PDEA Director General Aaron said the proposal covers not only Grade 4 students and up, but also teachers and other school employees. He explained it would help ensure a more effective campaign against illegal drugs.

But to make it happen, Aquino said, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 must be amended.

“Sa Section 36 ng RA 9165 nakasaad doon that we will conduct drug testing for secondary and tertiary randomly but now we will make it mandatory,” Aquino said.

The PDEA chief claimed professors in some universities in the country are involved in illegal drug activities. He cited as an example a recently arrested professor Samson Mulao, the president of Cotabato Foundation College and Science of Technology in Cotabato who was identified as a drug lord and is believed to have sold illegal drugs to students.

Aquino also expressed alarm over the arrest of a ten-year-old caught in the act of using illegal drugs.

This prompted PDEA to urge the Department of Education (DepEd) to teach students the negative effects of using illicit drugs such as the millennial party drugs.

Malacañang, meanwhile, advises PDEA to consult DepEd first about the proposal.

“Consult with the Department of Education kasi sila po ang may primary jurisdiction niyan lalong lalo na majority of our students are in public schools so I have to consult with secretary Briones,” said Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque.

DepEd previously issued guidelines in conducting random and not mandatory drug testing in public and private schools. – Cathy Maglalang / Marje Pelayo

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