Random drug tests in all Philippines high schools to start in September

MANILA (PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER) - Teachers and students of all public and private high schools nationwide will be subjected to random drug testing starting in September, the Department of Education (DepEd) announced on Wednesday (Aug 16).

DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said during a press conference that the drug testing for junior and senior high school students would be held outside the school premises.

"We are for the best protection and safety of the students," Secretary Briones said. "This is for (students') own good."

The secretary assured the public that the drug test results would not be a ground for expulsion and disciplinary action, and would not be used for any criminal proceedings.

She said the results would not be reflected in the student's academic records and that the drug tests would be done mainly for prevention and rehabilitation purposes only.

"This is a response to public demand," Ms Briones said. "We have 27 million students and we cannot say that the students… and all the teachers are pure."

The DepEd move is welcome news for the Anti-Drug Abuse Council of Pasig which was earlier prevented from implementing a plan to administer drug testings in exclusive private schools in the city.