Cebu News

CPADAC, DepEd agree on drug test for students, teachers

Michael Vencynth H. Braga and May B. Miasco/ATO - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu provincial government and the Department of Education-Cebu agreed “in principle” to conduct random drug test to high school students and teachers in the province this year.

Joey Herrera, executive director of the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Commission (CPADAC), said they have already conferred with DepEd-Cebu Division Superintendent Arden Monisit and Department of Health-7 Director Jaime Bernadas in February regarding the drug screening plan.

DOH-7 initially agreed to fund the drug test for students while the province may shoulder the expenses for the teachers, Herrera said.

“Dapat this year ma-implement na gyod ni. Sa pagsulod sa school year among i-inform ang mga estudyante ug mga ginikanan nga anytime from June until the end of school year,” he told reporters.

He said the involved agencies will again convene for the finalization of the plan on the guidelines set by the Dangerous Drugs Board for the drug screening.

He said that they also have to consider the intervention and rehabilitation programs for students who will be tested positive of drug use.

“We have to follow the guidelines, dili man gud na ingon nga ma-positive siya , undang eskwela, it shouldn’t be like that. Even in this program, they can seek help,” he said.

He said that the drug test would serve as “early detection and intervention” to prevent the student from becoming drug dependent.

Article 3 section 36 (c) of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) provides that “students of secondary and tertiary schools shall, pursuant to the related rules and regulations as contained in the school’s student handbook and with notice to the parents, undergo a random drug testing: Provided, That all drug testing expenses whether in public or private schools under this Section will be borne by the government.”

Herrera explained that the incident in Danao City last month in which a public school teacher in Compostela town was arrested after he was caught sniffing shabu prompted the province and concerned agencies to conduct the random drug test for teacher.

The CPADAC, during an executive committee meeting on Wednesday, also discussed the creation of a plan which would include the implementation of the province’s “Just Say No Program,” which was launched in January.

 “Just Say No Program” is patterned after the “Our Sustainable Cebu Program” which recognizes well-performing local government units in the crusade against illegal drugs by giving cash rewards and incentives.

Herrera said the program would also require towns to come up with their own action plans that address drug problems. The towns are also urged to provide prevention programs like livelihood, especially for out-of-school youth being a vulnerable sector.

 “Kasagaran sa mga lungsod man gud more sa pagdakop, sa supply reduction ilahang focus.  So kami sa CPADAC we want them to focus in demand reduction,” Herrera added.

Meanwhile, Monisit said the education department, which is also a member of CPADAC, aims to put a stop to illegal drug use among the students and their instructors.

“We wanted to mold our youth, and part of the school’s thrust is to prevent them into vices like (using illegal) drugs,” he said.

“We are not only teaching them to read and write, but we are also molding them to become good citizens,” he added.  (FREEMAN)


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