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QC bankroll mandatroy drug testing of elementary, high school, college students

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The Quezon City government to bankroll the mandatory random drug testing in public high schools, colleges and universities in the city beginning school year 2018-2019.

To date, the city has 99 public elementary and 48 public high schools, 274 private elementary schools, 175 private high schools, 81 colleges and nine universities.

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Wednesday, Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte said that “the random drug testing in public schools in the city will be funded by the city government.”

“Ang public schools lamang ang covered ng free random drug testing (Only the public schools are covered by the random drug testing),” Belmonte said.

The vice mayor added that “Private schools must also have random drug tests in accordance with Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, popondohan ng lungsod ang random drug testing (the city will appropriate fund for the random drug testing)”.

However, she said that “ang private schools ay hindi sakop ng libreng random drug testing (the private schools are not covered by the free random drug testing).”

When asked about the result of the random drug testing, Belmonte said, “kapag positive, kailangang panatilihingconfidential at private (if positive, it should be kept confidential and private).”

The city executive stressed that “kapag nakuha ng school principal ang resulta, bubuuin ang protocol kung saan kapag ang bata ay lulong sa droga, irerekomenda na i-rehabilitate (when the school principal secured the result, the protocol will be created such that if the student is hooked into drugs, he will be recommended to undergo rehabilitation).”

Belmonte said that Quezon City’s ordinance and the Department of Education’s memorandum circular only specify mandatory drug testing in public schools.

The Quezon City government has passed an ordinance mandating random drug tests for public school students in high school and college.

Ordinance SP-2615, S-2017 was signed into law by Mayor Herbert Bautista on Oct. 3, 2017, a month after it was passed by the city council on third and final reading.

The city government initially earmarked a P4-million budget for the student drug testing program, which is set to be implemented within 90 days after its implementing guidelines are crafted.

The ordinance said that the city government, taking its cue from the Dangerous Drugs Board, views illegal drug consumption as “entirely a health issue.” (PNA)