San Juan OKs random drug tests in all city schools

abs-cbn | 09/12/2008 9:13 PM

San Juan City Council recently passed an ordinance authorizing the vice mayor and local health officers to conduct random drug testing among high school and college students in all schools in the city.

City Mayor Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito signed the measure with the aim of discouraging the youth, particularly the students, from taking drugs.

City Councilor Dante Santiago, author of the ordinance, said that through the ordinance, the city would be able to control drug-use and dissuade the non-users from trying it.

Santiago quoted Article III, Section 36 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 (Republic Act 9165) which mandates “that students of secondary and tertiary schools shall, pursuant to the related rules and regulations as contained in the school’s student handbook and with notice to the parents, undergo a random drug testing provided that all drug testing expenses whether in public or private schools under this Section will be borne by the government”.

He said the urine test, saliva swab, the sniffer dog search, and other modern methods may be used to enforce the new ordinance.

Santiago added that schools who will voluntarily undertake drug tests among their students shall be required to submit a certification from the drug-testing office or agency that random drug-testing activities were held as well as the certified true copy of the summary and the result of the drug tests.

Students who fail the initial drug or urine test are required to undergo a confirmatory test at any of the government-accredited laboratories like the Camp Crame crime laboratory in Quezon City.

If the students fail the drug test for the second time, Santiago said they will be required to undertake drug prevention programs or counselling accompanied by their parents or guardians to educate them regarding the pernicious effects of drug abuse.

Private and public schools in the city like the Immaculate Conception Academy, Operation Brotherhood Montessori Center Incorporated, Dominican College, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, San Juan National High School and others public elementary schools expressed support for the ordinance.

as of 09/12/2008 9:13 PM