PDEA welcomes Palace support on drug tests for Grade 4 pupils and up
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Director General Aaron Aquino on Thursday welcomed the statement of Malacañang that said the proposed mandatory drug test for students from Grade 4 and above is a “good idea.”
The PDEA earlier proposed the mandatory drug test for students as the agency said that about 1,820 minors have been arrested or rescued by the agency since 2016. The youngest was six years old, Aquino said.
“We appreciate the support of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on the proposal of the agency to conduct mandatory drug testing among Grade 4 to tertiary students,” he said in a statement.
Aquino said Malacañang’s support is a “step forward” in the anti-illegal drug campaign of the government.
He said the PDEA has been pushing for the move as part of the holistic approach of the agency to “genuinely save our children” from illegal drugs.
According to Aquino, the number of minors arrested by PDEA proves that the prevalence of illegal drugs to students “have reached the level of alarm of concern.”
“Serious and immediate response is needed from PDEA and other government agencies,” Aquino said.
Aquino also noted that more than five out of 10 Filipinos agree with the proposed drug tests in schools, according to the September survey of the Social Weather Stations. /je
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