Palace backs DepEd’s stand vs drug testing for grade schoolers
Malacañang backs the Department of Education’s (DepEd) opposition to the mandatory drug testing on students as young as 10 years old.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace was taking the side of the DepEd, which earlier opposed the move, citing that the country’s dangerous drugs law only authorizes random drug testing for secondary and college students.
“Nagsalita na po si Secretary Briones ang Dangerous Drugs Act daw po ay ipinagbabawal ang drug testing sa elementarya. Pupuwede lang tayong magkaroon ng drug testing po sa high school,” Roque said in a Palace briefing in Cagayan de Oro.
(Secretary Briones said that the Dangerous Drugs Act prohibits drug testing on elementary students. We can only have drug testing on high school students.)
“We take the side of Secretary Briones invoking that in the United States, what has been upheld as being constitutional is only random testing for high school,” he added.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino made the proposal on Thursday to impose mandatory drug testing mandatory drug tests on teachers and pupils Grade 4 and up, citing that they have rescued a child as young as 10 years old from illegal drugs.
The proposal was met with criticisms from DepEd, some lawmakers, and teachers group, citing it was “unconstitutional” and could cost the government billions of pesos. /je
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