Palace supports proposal for drug testing among Grade 4 students and up
Malacanang expressed support on Thursday on the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency's ( PDEA) proposal for mandatory drug testing for Grade 4 students and up.
This was after the Social Weather Stations survey showed that 51 percent of the Filipinos agree to mandatory drug testing among those children under such bracket.
"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 press briefing.
Panelo, also the chief presidential legal counsel, said there is no need to amend Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in order to conduct drug testing to children from Grade 4 or children about nine to 10 years old.
"I don’t think there is a need for that, because that is for the benefit of the family, I think all parents would welcome that. I will welcome it as a parent," he said.
Under RA 9165, among those subjected to undergo drug testing are students of secondary and tertiary school.
The conduct of drug testing on them should be in random and pursuant to related rules and regulations as contained in the school's student handbook and with notice to the parents.
If the drug test would be conducted among the children, he said the basis would be the "parens patriae doctrine...that the state is responsible for the safety of the citizens in a country."
The SWS survey conducted on September 15-23 found 51 percent of the 1,500 adult respondents agree, 36 percent disagree, and 13 percent are undecided about the PDEA's proposal for mandatory drug testing for students Grade 4 and up. Celerina Monte/DMS