CBCP exec backs mandatory drug test for children

MANILA � An official of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education (CBCP-ECCCE) on Saturday expressed his support on the mandatory drug testing for students aged 10-years-old and above.

In a radio interview, San Jose Nueva Ecija Bishop Roberto Mallari, chairman of the CBCP-ECCCE supported the proposal of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), saying that it would prevent young Filipinos from being involved in illegal drugs.

"Sa akin walang problema 'yan kasi nga nakikita natin 'yan kung gaano kalawak yung problema ng drugs kung paanong talagang inaabot nila lahat pati ang mga bata yung sinasabi nilang may mga candies pa na hinahaluan ng drugs, he said in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas.

I think mahalaga ito para ma-prevent natin yung mga bata mismo ay maapektuhan nitong problemang ito ng drugs, he added.

Mallari urged parents and teachers to support the programs of the government especially if its for the protection and welfare of the young Filipinos.

"Para po sa mga magulang at mga teachers natin, I think mahalaga na we try to as much as possible we cooperate to the government kasi I suppose gusto din nila yung ikabubuti ng mga anak natin, he added.

Earlier, PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino reported the arrest of a 10-year-old allegedly using illegal drugs.

This prompted authorities to propose for mandatory drug testing of grade four students in the country, which seeks to stop the spread of illegal drugs in the more than 40,000 schools nationwide.

Under the Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, only students in secondary or college are covered by the random drug testing.

However, in the proposal of the PDEA, the mandatory drug testing will include all students, teachers and other school personnel. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency