Special Reports

Drug Testing May Soon Be Required For Incoming Filipino College Students


The Philippines' Commission on Higher Education is now in consideration of making drug testing mandatory for incoming college students. This comes in the midst of President Rodrigo Duterte's war against drugs in the country.

Local source GMA News reported that Julito Vitriolo, the executive director of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), has confirmed the government's plan. Apparently, this is part of the president's efforts to fight illegal drugs.

"This was born out of the President's call to make campuses drug-free, because we see the pervasive effects of drug use," Vitriolo said. "What's important is for students not to use drugs. It will be a deterrent if they want to continue their studies."
He added that incoming college students who test positive for drugs can enroll in a rehabilitation program before pursuing higher education. Currently, drug testing is voluntary for admission to university.

Monico Jacobs supported the government's plans, saying that "the drug menace is real. He is the president of STI Education Systems Holdings Inc. STI has been requiring incoming students to undergo mandatory drug testing for five years now.

According to Rappler, members of the private education sector are uncertain about CHED's proposal. The Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA) expressed worry over the plight of students who will test positive for illegal drugs.

The group acknowledged the preventive measure set by the government. However, they emphasized that the government, in its fight against illegal drugs, should focus on the pushers not on victims.

The proposal was initially announced last Aug. 31. It was developed by the inter-agency committee for drug-testing. The organization is part of the Cabinet Assistance System.

There has not been any ruling yet for mandatory drug testing for incoming college students. Vitriolo has previously stated that CHED will ask for legal opinion from the Department of Justice after the policy has been crafted.

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