PALACE BACKS PDEA’S DRUG TEST ON GRADE SCHOOLS’ STUDENTS
MANILA — Malacañang on Thursday said the proposal of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to conduct mandatory drug testing for Grade 4 students and older pupils would benefit the family.
“I think that’s a good idea because at least the parents will know whether or not their children are addicted or being used in the drug industry,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace press briefing.
Panelo said he personally support PDEA’s plan which draw support from majority of the Filipinos based on the latest survey of Social Weather Station (SWS).
“That is for the benefit of the family, I think all parents would welcome that,” Panelo said.
“As a parent, I will want it. Because we will never know our children in schools would be influenced or used by persons outside of the family,” he added.
Panelo, also Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, said there is no need to amend Republic Act 9165, also known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 which provides only mandatory drug testing for high school and tertiary students.
“There is a drug menace in this country – that would be the basis. Parens patriae doctrine is another. The state is responsible for the safety of the citizens in a country,” he said.
When asked if the mandatory drug testing will violate any law, Panelo replied: “I don’t think there is.”
According to 2018 Third Quarter SWS survey, 51 percent of the Filipinos agree with PDEA’s proposal while 36 percent disagree, and 13 percent are undecided. (PNA)
Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler