THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has commended the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) for conducting random drug tests among its students, employees and faculty members on August 15, 2019.
Those who underwent the random drug tests were 800 students from five colleges of the university and 200 employees. Faculty members also took the test.
PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino expressed appreciation for the initiative of PUP President Dr. Emmanuel de Guzman, saying the drug test is in line with the Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) directive and campaign against illegal drugs.
Section 36 (Authorized Drug Testing) (a) of Republic Act 9165, The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, states that “Students of secondary and tertiary schools shall, pursuant to the related rules and regulation as contained in the school’s student handbook and with notice to the parents, undergo drug testing: Provided, that all drug testing expenses whether in public or private schools under this section will be borne by the government. Provided, further that the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education, as the case maybe, shall see to it that this provision is implemented.”
PDEA is eyeing the amendment of Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Regulation No. 6 Series of 2003 which sets forth guidelines for the random drug testing of students.
“PDEA is leaning towards compulsory drug testing because random drug testing may trigger even more stigma to those chosen, hence setting them apart from the rest,” Aquino said, adding that random drug testing covers a representative sample of the whole student population and may not give picture of the problem.
The purposes behind the conduct of drug testing in schools are to determine the extent of drug use among students, teachers, and even school personnel; and to deter drug use, both for the purpose of reformation and rehabilitation.
Aquino added that PDEA is willing to assist in giving intervention to students tested positive.
“The support of the academe to the national anti-drug campaign is helping keep our country and the future Filipino generations free from dangerous drugs,” Aquino said.