Palace support for Grade 4 students’ mandatory drug test lauded

MANILA The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Thursday welcomed the support of the Office of the President on the agency's proposal to include Grade 4 students in the mandatory drug testing.

We appreciate the support of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on the proposal of the agency to conduct mandatory drug testing among Grade 4 to tertiary students. His statement is a step forward in the anti-illegal drug campaign of the government, PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said in a statement to Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Aquino said the PDEA has been pushing for the mandatory and surprise drug testing for all students from Grades 4 to college students as part of the agency's holistic approach to curb illegal drugs to genuinely save the children from the grip of the drug problem.

Our move is based from the fact that about 1,820 minors have been arrested/rescued by PDEA from 2016 to present, who are involved in illegal drugs � mostly are pushers. The youngest is six years old, he noted.

This only proves that the prevalence of illegal drugs among students has reached a level of alarm and concern. Serious and immediate response is needed from PDEA and other government agencies, he added.

The PDEA chief also welcomed the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey were majority of Filipinos continue to appreciate the Duterte administration's relentless campaign against illegal drugs.

We are also thankful that based on SWS survey majority of the Filipinos are agreeing with us in pushing for this program. This is definitely another step in realizing our goal for a drug-cleared country, Aquino said.

The 2018 Third Quarter SWS survey found that 76 percent of the 1,500 respondents are satisfied with the war on drugs, while 12 percent were dissatisfied, resulting in a net satisfaction rating of +64.

The net satisfaction rating was one-point below the second quarter survey but remains classified as "very good".

According to the SWS survey conducted on Sept. 15-23, satisfaction with the government's war on drugs was at an excellent +76 when it was first surveyed in September 2016. It was highest in December 2016 at an excellent +77.

However, it has been at the +63 to +66 (very good) range since March 2017, reaching its lowest rating of +63 in September 2017, the SWS said.

Despite falling from +84 in June 2018 to +70 in September 2018, the campaign against illegal drugs' net satisfaction stayed excellent in Mindanao. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency