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PIA Press Release
2009/02/05

Drug testing kicks off in Dumaguete schools; Silliman expresses concern over drug test conduct

by Rachelle M. Nessia

Dumaguete City (5 February) -- The Department of Education has started conducting random drug testing in 15 public and private high schools in Metro Manila following a directive from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Silliman University, in a statement, although acknowledging the need to stop illegal drugs use in the schools, has expressed concern on the drug testing will be done.

In a preliminary statement released through its Information and Publications Director Mark Garcia, the University said that "mandatory and random drug testing in schools requires careful consideration because of some of its possibly serious consequences."

The University have yet to make a formal position on the drug testing in schools as it intends to gather first the views and concerns of students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni before formulating a University position.

Garcia said the University will particularly consider in its position the aspects of guidelines on how it is to be done, human rights, the integrity of academic institutions and of its democratic space being shielded from military and police instruments of the State and the need to adopt effective measures to stop drug use in the country.

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus has assured that the rights of those who will be subjected to random drug testing will be protected.

Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Leila de Lima has also stressed the absolute confidentiality of the results of the drug tests. (PIA/rmn) [top]

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