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Commission on Human Rights Commissioner Gwen Pimentel commented on this, asking for the rights of the children to be observed and safeguards and guidelines in the implementation of the drug testing be provided.Pimentel said that the program must observe the right to privacy, the right to consent and to be informed of those who will take the drug tests, especially if they are children.This move was sought after they arrested a 10-year old suspected drug user. Based on our operation, yung bata na gumagamit ng illegal drugs is as early as 10 years old,” he said on Thursday. Based on our operation, a child that used illegal drugs is as early as 10 years old.] Aquino said it is up to the Dep Ed if they would take up the recommendation.The PDEA Chief also wanted the Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act amended to make school officials, teachers, and students undergo mandatory and surprise drug testing.In a statement also on Thursday, the Department of Education cited cost and legal implications as well as the agency’s ongoing drug testing program.The Dep Ed said, “the proposal of the [PDEA] to test all students age 10 and older may require the amendment of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, which authorizes drug testing for secondary and tertiary level students only.” The Dep Ed also warned the PDEA on the cost implementation of its plan.Rosye Cloud, vice president of strategy and innovation for the College Promise advocacy group, said in an email that each state must determine its own criteria for eligibility when creating programs such as this.
However, among the eligibility requirements to receive this benefit is passing a drug test, including for marijuana use, before the beginning of the semester.
The PDEA yesterday distributed P180 million worth of equipment to its units to enhance their operational capabilities in the war against drugs.
The equipment included 63 vehicles, 151 motorcycles, computers, body cameras and drones.
John Bolt, a spokesman for the state flagship West Virginia University, said the policy won't affect admissions at the main campus -- even for students receiving need-based financial aid to attend the university.
The policy will affect the university's affiliate campus at Potomac State College, which Bolt said primarily offers two-year programs.
However, drug testing all those applying for eligibility has been challenged frequently in the courts. Winograd said there could be a variety of reasons why West Virginia lawmakers were particularly interested in this policy, but that one could be continued concern for drug-abuse issues in the state.