Pubdate: Tue, 27 Jan 2009
Source: Manila Bulletin (The Philippines)
Author: Shianee Mamanglu
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)
Bookmark: (Youth)


Random Drug Tests To Include College Faculty Members

Faculty members of colleges and universities across the country will
not be spared from the random drug testing order of President Arroyo,
according to Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) Chairman Emmanuel

"Besides the students, we are also going to include faculty members
of each college or university in the drug testing to ensure they are
clean and can be helped if they are found using illegal drugs,''
Angeles told a news conference at CHEd office in UP Diliman, Quezon 

"Faculty members should be free from illegal drugs because they serve
as models for their students,'' he added.

Angeles said that faculty members found using the prohibited
substance will be required to undergo rehabilitation.

"Faculty members found positive for substance abuse will not be
allowed to teach, but will be made to undergo rehabilitation. If they
fail to do this, this could be a ground for their dismissal,'' he

Likewise, he said that students found positive of drug use will be
recommended for rehabilitation.

"The CHEd will strongly encourage their parents to have their
children undergo counselling and rehabilitation process.''

Katherine Castaneda, CHEd Director for Student Affairs, said the
Commission will only be able to test 15 students per university with
its present allocation of P6 million.

But Castaneda said the Commission "will maximize the resources
available so that more students will be subjected to the test.''

There are about 2.5 million students in 1,726 public and private
higher education institutions nationwide.

Dr. Gonzalo Duque, the president of the Lyceum Northwestern
University in Pangasinan and board member of the Philippine
Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU) welcomed the move by
CHEd to include faculty members in the nationwide drug testing.

"I support the random drug testing on faculty members. This is very
important because they are the ones imparting knowledge...and these
are adults and should be responsible citizens,'' said Duque, also
national chairman of the Private Schools Athletic Association (PSAA).

"Mas sensitive yung position ng faculty members in terms of
influencing the moral ascendancy of students,'' he added.

Duque likewise urged CHEd to include the schools' administrators in
the drug testing, adding there were cases in the past when children
of prominent educators where found positive for illegal drugs.

"Dapat everybody should be covered... hindi lang faculty members,''
he added.

Dr. Dante Guevarra, president of the Polytechnic University of the
Philippines (PUP) said faculty members undergo a yearly drug testing,
which should include a check up on illegal drug use.

"It is embarrassing on the part of faculty members if the state would
impose a drug test on them. This type of activity should form part of
their yearly medical examination,'' he said.

The random drug testing on college students has been slated next
month. Earlier, the Department of Education (DepEd) announced that it
will perform the drug tests on high school students early February.

Angeles said the Commission is closely coordinating with the DepEd
and the Department of Health for the smooth implementation of the
random drug testing.

Meanwhile, Education Secretary Jesli Lapus said his department is all
set for next month's random drug testing jointly conducted with the

He assured that the DepEd has polished the parameters and guidelines
of the drug testing to ensure its smooth implementation.

Lapus also assured parents anew that the drug tests on students "is
not to humiliate but to help them kick-off the addiction if they are
victims of illegal drugs.''
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin