Random Drug Testing for Students No IRR Yet’
There is no Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) yet received by the Negros Occidental Provincial Health Office (PHO) and the Medical Unit of the Department of Education (DepEd)-Bacolod City.
Dr. Ernel Tumimbang, Provincial Health Officer, said yesterday, they have not received yet the IRR regarding the random drug testing for students.
DepEd should be coordinating with the local health offices once the IRR is received for implementation of the random drug testing in the local school levels, he said.
“They will also identify what laboratory will conduct the random drug testing, whether in private laboratory or the DOH will set up a drug testing center.
A spokesperson from the Medical Unit of the Bacolod DepEd Division asking anonymity said, once they receive the IRR, they will conduct the orientation with parents and students in the schools randomly chosen by DepEd Manila, adding that, even the local school authorities will have no idea what school will be chosen at random.
DepEd Undersecretary Jesus Lorenzo Mateo, in an interview said that only senior and high school students in the private and public schools will be subjected to random drug testing, as well as teaching and non-teaching staff of the school.
Once DOH has conducted the drug testing, result will be released within fifteen days, but only the parents and the student concerned will be informed as it will be treated confidential. If ever the result of drug testing is positive, it will not affect or reflect in his/her academic grades. It will not be also considered ground for any disciplinary action.
DOH will assign drug testing coordinators, female for the girls and male for the boys.
Usec Mateo also said, the information about the hazards of prohibited drugs are also included in the curriculum.
The parents are urged to cooperate and support this campaign of the government so we will know the extent of illegal drug users among the students. Drug testing expenses for students will be handled by the government, Usec Mateo disclosed.
So far, both DOH and DepEd are still waiting for the IRR on how and when to implement the program, pursuant to DepEd Order Number 40, which is the random drug testing Order.* (Edith B. Colmo)