ACT-Teachers rep. slams PDEA proposed drug tests for pupils, teachers | Inquirer News

ACT-Teachers rep. slams PDEA proposed drug tests for pupils, teachers

/ 03:50 PM June 26, 2018

Antonio Tinio

Rep. Antonio Tinio of the Act Teachers party-list (File photo from the Philippine Daily Inquirer)

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)’s proposed mandatory drug tests on teachers and pupils Grade 4 and up is a form of harassment that may endanger the lives of children, ACT-Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio warned on Tuesday.

Instead of “harassing” and “violating the rights of children,” the opposition lawmaker said PDEA should instead go after drug lords.


“Panganib na naman ito sa buhay mismo ng mga bata. Mahiya naman ang PDEA, tutukan nila ang paghuli sa mga drug lord hindi ‘yung pag-harass at paglabag sa mga karapatan ng mga batang paslit,” he said in an interview with reporters.


Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said the proposal is still “unjustifiable” even as the PDEA claimed there are hundreds of drug users and pushers from the ages of 10 to 17.

“I don’t think justifiable kaagad ‘yun. Tingin nga natin dito paigtingin pa nila ang kanilang trabaho at hindi pagdiskitahan ang ating mga anak or mga bata,” he told reporters.

The congressman said funds to be used in the program should instead be used for basic social services.

“At kung maglalaan sila ng bilyun-bilyon dyan, para na naman sa programang ‘yan, siguro mas magandang ilaan nila sa mga pangunahing pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayan lalung-lalo na sa kahirapan ngayon,” he said.

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino made the proposal last Thursday, noting that they have rescued a child as young as 10 years of age from illegal drugs.

But the Department of Education said the plan, which is yet to be firmed up, is against the dangerous drugs law, which currently authorizes random drug testing only for secondary and college students. It also said spending P200 for testing each of at least 14 million Grade 4 to Grade 12 students will cost the government at least P2.8 billion.


The proposal was also met with strong objection from various sectors, including those allied with the administration.   /muf

READ: DepEd, solons oppose drug tests on grade schoolers / Senators assail PDEA bid on mandatory drug test for teachers, students

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TAGS: ACT Teachers, drug test, PDEA, pupils, Teachers, Tinio, Zarate

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