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PIA Press Release
2009/02/26

Everything is set for Random Drug Testing in Region 2 - DepEd

Tuguegarao City (26 February) -- The Department of Education (DepEd) Region 2 has already issued the guidelines for the implementation of the random drug testing in all public and private secondary schools in the region.

Ms. Vilma Buraga, Chief-Secondary Education Division, said 467 schools will undergo the random drug testing to be conducted by the Department of Health and DepEd.

She said 10 students per school, totaling to 4,670 students all over the region will be sampled randomly regardless of sex, age and status in life.

She explained that random drug testing for students is considered as health issue that aims to help students stop the use and abuse of the substance.

"The objective of the program is to determine the prevalence of drug users among students, assess the effectivity of school-based and community-based prevention programs, deter the use of illegal drugs, and facilitate rehabilitation of drug users and dependents," Buraga said.

She also explained that test results will be treated highly confidential that no school shall publish or post results whether positive or negative. The guidelines clarified that test results will not be grounds for expulsion of the student and shall not be used to advance any administrative, criminal and legal action against the student. Any person who violates the rule shall be liable under RA 9165 and such other appropriate laws.

"No one will be informed about the result except only for the parents and the students concerned, and they will be advised by the drug testing coordinator to refrain from revealing the results to any other person even to teachers and principals to protect the rights of the student," Buraga stated.

If a student will be found positive of substance abuse, he/she will undergo counseling and observation for three months and if he/she will show no signs of improvement, the parent and the student may choose to enroll the student in a private rehabilitation center or opt to avail rehabilitation services of the government.

Buraga further explained that no fees are required to parents, students and schools for the drug testing and even to the needs and foods of the team because it is already provided by the national government.

Students who refuse to undergo the test shall be dealt with in accordance with the rules and regulations of the school and schools that refuse to implement the testing shall be liable under the laws without prejudice to other administrative sanctions imposed by the supervising agencies. (PIA Cagayan) [top]

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