DepEd urged to reconsider position vs. mandatory drug test

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MANILA— The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Monday appealed to the Department of Education (DepEd) to reconsider its position against mandatory drug testing on students after Education Secretary Leonor Briones rejected the proposal anew.

“Unfortunately, the last meeting with our counterparts from the Department of Education did not win the nod of the Honorable Secretary (Leonor Briones). We have yet to seek another schedule to probably lay it on the table but as of now we don’t have a schedule yet,” PDEA spokesperson Derrick Carreon told reporters during the Rehabinasyon National Anti-Drugs Summit in Davao City.

“We’re hoping that DepEd will consider at least in secondary level,” he said, as he urged the agency to rethink its position by referring to the cases of 12 minors who were discovered inside the drug dens in Navotas on January 16 facilitating a narco trade.

“These kids were pitiful. When we were interviewing them casually while in the area of operation, while we were rounding up the suspect, these are students who were supposed to be enrolled,” Carreon pointed out.

Although meeting opposition from the DepEd, the official cited a “welcome development” from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) after Chairman J. Prospero de Vera III mandated the random drug testing for tertiary education students.

De Vera earlier expressed the need to require mandatory random drug testing for students in all public and private universities in the country, saying a “drug dependent student is not a functional student in school, (and) will not be able to finish his studies.” -PNA

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