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

June 25, 2018

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.

Kailangan ng batas para ipatupad ang panukalang mandatory drug test ng pamahalaan para sa mga batang nasa edad 10 taong gulang o yung mga nasa grade 4.

Ang panukalang ito ay isang pag-amin na palpak ang malupit na giyera kontra droga ng pamahalaan.

Minumungkahi natin na isantabi ng Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency itong paspasan at natatarantang plano na nakatutok sa maliliit na bata, at sa halip ay habulin ang malalaking drug lord para matigil na ang pagpasok ng mga ipinagbabawal na droga.

Nakikiisa tayo sa mga kritiko ng ideya, na pinangungunahan ng Department of Education, dahil ang naturang hakbang ay bawal, aksaya sa pera at resources, at may di patas na pagtingin sa problema ng illegal drugs sa bansa.

Gaya ng tinukoy ng DepEd, ang ganitong drug testing ay labag sa Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Sinabi ng DepEd na mayroon na itong umiiral na drug testing program at isang programa para sa comprehensive drug prevention education.

Kung pag-uusapan ang gastos, magiging source ng korapsyon ito. Sa populasyon na di bababa sa 14 milyong mag-aaral na mula sa Grade 4 hanggang Grade 12 pa lamang, aabot na sa P2.8 bilyon ang aabutin ng testing fee. Sino ang makikinabang sa magastos na programang ito?

Mas malaki ang benepisyo ng ganitong halaga, saan man ito balak kunin ng pamahalaan, kapag ginamit ito para sa mga school feeding program na magpapalusog sa mga bata at mag-discourage sa kanilang gumamit ng ipinagbabawal na droga.

Maaari ring gamitin ang budget para bigyan sila ng mga textbook o school supplies, o kaya ay magtayo pa ng mga karagdagang silid-aralan. Maaari rin itong gamitin para pondohan ang dagdag sweldo na matagal nang ipinaglalaban ng mga guro sa pampublikong paaralan.

×