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DepEd allots P39M to fund drug tests

By: Ina Hernando Malipot

The Department of Education has allotted around P39 million to fund a drug testing program for public school teachers and select students nationwide.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that the funds will be used to implement a drug testing policy in an effort to ensure that all public schools are drug-free.

“We announced last year and we are already finalizing it,” she said. The funds, she explained, will be mainly used for laboratory services.

Despite having the funds for the drug testing policy, Briones said that it needs the help of the Department of Health in implementing the initiative. “We have the funds for it but we don’t have the capacity to do it, it will be the DoH who will do it,” she said.

DoH, Briones said, has been training teachers to familiarize them on the procedures of drug testing such as the getting of the samples and so on. “For the analysis, of course, will be done by them,” she said.

Briones said that there will be mandatory drug testing for all teachers and all applicants and for high schoolers, “it will be on a sampling basis.” She noted that DepEd and DoH “have already agreed on the sampling scheme and we think this is very important.” The conduct of the drug testing, she explained, “will start anytime.”

The DepEd has issued the guidelines on the conduct of authorized drug test for officials and employees – including teaching and non-teaching personnel under its drug testing program.