Press Release
June 25, 2018

Statement of Sen. Francis " Kiko" Pangilinan, Partido Liberal president, on drug testing of kids

A law is needed to implement the government's proposed mandatory drug test for children as young as 10 years old or those in grade 4.

This proposal is an admission that the brutal government war on drugs is ineffective.

We propose that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency shelve this slapdash and panicky plan trained on little children, and instead go after the big drug lords to stop the flow of illegal drugs.

We join the critics of the idea, led by the Department of Education, because such a move is illegal, a waste of money and resources, and has a prejudiced approach to the problem of illegal drugs in the country.

As DepEd has pointed out, such drug testing would violate the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

With regard to the cost, this would be another source of corruption. Given a population of at least 14 million students from Grade 4 to Grade 12 alone, the testing fee could amount to P2.8 billion. Who will earn from this expensive program?

The DepEd said it already has an ongoing drug testing program and a comprehensive drug prevention education program.

Such an amount, wherever the government plans to source it, would be better used to augment the school feeding program, so that children would be nourished and not be swayed to use illegal drugs.

The budget could also get them textbooks or schools supplies, or even build additional classrooms. It could also help fund the additional salary public school teachers have been demanding for a long time.

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