Palace junks PDEA proposal to drug-test 10-year-old students

(Eagle News) — The Palace on Monday, June 25, junked the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency’s proposal to drug-test students aged 10 years old and older.

“We take the side of (Education) Secretary (Leonor) Briones invoking that in the United States, what has been upheld as being constitutional is only random testing for high school,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Briones had said the PDEA’s proposal would require the amendment of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, which authorizes drug testing for secondary and tertiary level students only.

She also noted the cost that such a program would entail.

“The population of students from Grade 4 (the grade level of 10-year old students) to Grade 12 total at least 14 million. At P200 per student for the testing fee alone, the budget will already amount to P2.8 billion,” she said.

Apart from the Palace, those who took Briones’ side were Senators Kiko Pangilinan, Senate President Tito Sotto, among others.

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino made the proposal after he said his men  rescued a child as young as 10 years old from illegal drugs.