THE Department of Education (DepEd) is set to conduct mandatory drug tests on all of its employees, including some 700,000 public school teachers.
The drug testing, to be conducted in partnership with the Department of Health, has an allocated budget of P39 million and will also cover applicants for teaching and non-teaching posts.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said they are already finalizing the guidelines on the drug testing.
The DoH has been training teachers in getting the samples during the drug testing which will start soon.
Briones said the DepEd will also conduct random drug testing on high school students, a scheme that could indicate the prevalence of illegal drugs in schools.
The mandatory drug testing is based on Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Under Section 36, students of secondary and tertiary schools shall undergo a random drug testing as pursuant to the related rules and regulations as contained in the school’s student handbook and with notice to the parents.
The Act also requires officers and employees of public and private offices, whether domestic or overseas, to undergo a random drug test.
The Commission on Higher Education on Aug. 2 issued a memorandum allowing tertiary institutions to conduct mandatory drug testing on all students.
Colleges and universities were also allowed to use the test as basis for retention or admission, provided a consultation is conducted prior to its implementation.