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PIA Press Release

Random drug test next in Davao Region's public schools

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (24 February) -- Department of Education Secretary Jesli Lapus announced the successful launching of random drug testing in the National Capital Region.

This will then be followed in all regional public schools including Region XI.

"But this time we will ensure efficiency and confidentiality to protect our school children," he said.

DepEd recently released clarificatory guidelines for the conduct of random drug testing for secondary and tertiary students.

"I must clarify that random drug testing is not designed to lead to punishment. Rather, it is one way of prevention," Lapus said.

The government thought of this mechanism to provide services to those tested positive for drug use and help them stop further use and abuse of the substance.

The guidelines states that the results of testing will guarantee personal privacy and dignity of the students and will not be used in any criminal proceedings.

One of the things required from the school is for the administration to explain the provisions and procedures to the school community even include these in the school handbook.

All schools will be visited on random dates with at least ten students randomly selected per school.

Teams which consist of an analyst, female specimen collector, a male specimen collector and a DepEd coordinator will be deployed per region.

DepEd also clarified that results will not e included in the Integrated Drug Testing Operations Management Information Systems which houses the database for all drug testing. This ensures utmost confidentiality and special care for student findings.

For those tested positive, the Drug Testing Coordinator will then refer the student to a government-owned DOH-accredited facility where the student's dependency level will be determined.

If proven drug dependent, the school may impose appropriate sanctions as stated in the school's regulations.

The student will then undergo three months observations and counseling which will be done in coordination with the school's drug counselor.

After a successful rehabilitation, the student will then be allowed to re-enroll. (PIA XI) [top]

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