Press Release
August 24, 2017

Bam to DepEd: No to student drug list!

Sen. Bam Aquino wants the Department of Education (DepEd) to ensure that the Philippine National Police (PNP) will not get hold of the results of the random drug testing of students in private and public schools so as to avoid abuses and deaths of students.

"The DepEd, as the lead agency in the random drug testing of students, must fulfill its promise to keep confidential its results. Hindi nila dapat hayaang mapunta ito sa kamay ng PNP upang hindi magamit laban sa ating mga kabataan," said Sen. Bam.

"Kung makukuha ng PNP ang listahang ito, maaari itong maabuso ng mga tiwaling pulis at gamitin sa panggigipit. Ayaw nating magkaroon ng isa pang kaso na may mamamatay na estudyante sa ating bayan," he added.

During the hearing for DepEd 2018 budget, Sec. Leonor Briones assured lawmakers that the results of the random drug testing will remain confidential and will not result in the filing of charges against minors who will be found positive for illegal drugs.

"Panghahawakan natin ang pangakong ito ng DepEd upang matiyak ang kaligtasan ng ating mga kabataan laban sa anumang pang-aabuso ng awtoridad," said Sen. Bam.

During his time as chairman of the Committee on Education, Sen. Bam got the assurance from concerned government agencies, such as the DepEd, Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), that the random drug testing will not tread on rights of students but merely to determine the prevalence of illegal drugs in schools.

The DepEd and other government agencies also assured that they will extend help to students who will be tested positive through a rehabilitation program and peer counseling.

Aside from mandatory random drug testing, the DDB has institutionalized the "Barkada Kontra Droga" program to help keep the youth away from illegal drugs.

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