The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said Monday that students in universities, colleges, and other higher education institutions will be subjected to mandatory random drug test next academic year.
According to Mariz Umali's report on State of the Nation with Jessica Soho, CHED released Memorandum Order 18 to implement such intervention.
"Ang ginagawa natin sa loob ng mga pamantasan ay mag-create ng environment ng healthy lifestyle. Huwag nating hintayin na umabot sa punto na masyadong talamak na 'yung problema bago tayo mag-intervene," said CHED Chairperson Prospero De Vera.
The implementing guidelines of the memorandum order states that consultations should be done with the students and their parents.
The Board of Regents and Student Governing Boards shall also express agreement to it.
The schools shall present the policy for mandatory drug testing to its students and the drug test shall only be administered by DOH-accredited facilities, physicians, and private medical practitioners.
Some student groups, however, expressed concern over the confidentiality of the drug test results.
"It's possible din that the school admin will go... may previous disciplinary cases ka, how do we ensure din na even 'yung treatment ng students who might yield positive results they are not discriminated upon," said USC Councilor Basilio Claudio.
De Vera explained that the results of the mandatory random drug test will not be disclosed to the public.
He underscored that the results would not be used against the students who will be found positive on drug use but rather to identify students who need health intervention.
Fear over possible conduct of anti-drug operations in schools was also raised as these will be allowed as long as the Philippine National Police (PNP) coordinates with the school.
"When we have drug raids that really don't follow basic rules of procedures we don't really see why we can trust this government to conduct these drug operations in a way that follows due process," the student leader Claudio said.
The PNP, on the other hand, assured that there will be no human rights violations in such operations.
PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said, "We will not come in na parang magco-conduct ng buy-bust. No, we will not do that. We will surely coordinate with the faculty, administrator, or sa mga security managers nila sa mga different schools." — Dona Magsino/BAP, GMA News