Senators assail PDEA bid on mandatory drug test for teachers, students
Who came up with the “brilliant” idea to propose the conduct of mandatory drug tests for teachers and pupils Grade 4 and up?
Senator Aqulino “Koko” Pimentel III wants to know as he rejected the proposal being floated by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
“That is pointless because what is the use of the test result? If positive, then what? And how many false or wrong positives and even negatives will our system produce?” Pimentel, former Senate president, said in a viber message to reporters on Friday.
“Malakihang gastos lang ‘yan. Hence, I’m interested to know who came up with such a ‘brilliant’ idea. Ginawang mandatory para talagang malakihang gastos,” he also said.
Pimentel said it was “pointless” because authorities could not force a person, who turns out positive in a drug test, to provide information that might just incriminate him or her.
“Assume there is a positive test result. Sige nga, start drafting the information or even the complaint which starts the preliminary investigation. What will you put there? When did he take the drug? Where? What kind of drug? What quantity?” Pimentel argued.
“We cannot force the person concerned to supply all of these essential information,” he added.
Told that the objective of the proposed drug test in schools was to identify those who need help, and not to file charges, the senator then said the drug testing should be optional.
“If you want help, then ask for help, get a test if necessary. Why make drug testing mandatory and test those who don’t even use drugs?” Pimentel said.
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, who is part of the minority bloc in the Senate, also opposed the proposed drug testing for teachers and students, saying the scheme “is prone to corruption.”
“No. It is prone to corruption, will become a money making scheme for test centers, and will only further burden the public already suffering from high prices of basic goods with more expenses,” Pangilinan pointed out. /kga
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