MANILA -- Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV on Thursday asked the Department of Education (DepEd) to ensure the confidentiality of the results of drug testing of students in private and public schools.
Aquino said DepEd should make it a point that the Philippine National Police (PNP) will not get hold of the results to avoid abuses.
"The DepEd, as the lead agency in the random drug testing of students, must fulfill its promise to keep confidential its results. Hindi nila dapat hayaang mapunta ito sa kamay ng PNP upang hindi magamit laban sa ating mga kabataan (They shouldn't allow the results to fall in the hands of PNP so it won't be used against our youth), Aquino said in a press statement.
During the hearing on DepEd 2018 budget, Secretary Leonor Briones assured lawmakers that the results of the random drug testing will be confidential.
Briones also said that charges will not be filed against minors with positive drug test results.
"Panghahawakan natin ang pangakong ito ng DepEd upang matiyak ang kaligtasan ng ating mga kabataan laban sa anumang pang-aabuso ng awtoridad (We will hold on to the DepEd's promise to assure the safety of our youth from any kind of abuses by authorities), the senator said.
The DepEd and concerned agencies also assured that they will extend help to students who will be tested positive through a rehabilitation program and peer counseling.
Meanwhile, the Dangerous Drugs Board has institutionalized the "Barkada Kontra Droga" program to help keep the youth away from illegal drugs.
Source: Philippine News Agency