Youth groups ask presidential, VP bets to take drug test
Various youth groups asked presidential and vice presidential candidates in the upcoming May elections to voluntarily submit themselves to a drug test so that they can show the electorate that they can own up to their campaign promises on fighting illegal drugs in the country.
Groups such as the National Youth Coordinating Council on Drug Abuse Prevention (NYCCDAP) and National Youth Affairs on Drug Abuse Prevention and Education (NYADAPE) said that taking the drug test will send a strong message to the youth that the candidates do really take their vow to fight illegal drugs seriously.
“Our next leaders should be in a position to discuss drug use, and there can be no better way than to set an example for everyone,” NYADAPE President Leo Archie Andes III said in a statement on Thursday.
“A campaign for a drug-free country can only be led by drug-free leaders,” he added.
For its part, the National Youth Commission (NYC) has called on the next administration to prioritize anti-drug programs.
Citing data from the Dangerous Drug Board (DDB), NYC Commissioner Earl Saavedra lamented that 48 percent of reported drug users said that they were 15 to 19 years old when they first tried illegal drugs.
Saavedra also said that the cheap price of illegal drugs make it “more accessible [to] the youth.”
The DDB said that half or 50.30 percent of reported drug users said that they take illegal drugs two to five times per week while 21.20 percent said they take drugs daily.
Among the presidential candidates, it was Senator Grace Poe who challenged her rivals in February to submit themselves to a drug test to prove that they are fit to become the country’s next president.
The Liberal Party, through Senate President Franklin Drilon, rejected Poe’s challenge then, saying that “there is no need” for candidates to take a drug test. RAM