Govt kicks off random drug tests in Metro Manila

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 04 2009 10:42 AM | Updated as of Feb 14 2009 08:29 AM

Officials assured that children’s rights will not be violated as the government's random drug testing kicked off Wednesday.

A radio dzMM report said the random drug testing opened at the Manggahan National High School in Pasig City around 9 a.m.

Of the 3,366 students of the secondary school, only 15 were subjected to drug tests by the Department of Health (DOH).

The drug tests were witnessed by Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) chairman Vicente Sotto III, Education Secretary Jesli Lapus, and representatives from the DOH.

Sotto and Lapus assured that the children's rights will not be violated during the drug tests.

Assistant Secretary Thelma Santos of the Department of Education said parents should not worry about their children's rights getting violated.

"Based on our guidelines, the children will not be forced to undergo drug testing," Santos said.

Santos, meanwhile, clarified that only 85,000 students will be subjected to random drug tests in Metro Manila starting this month up to the last week of March.

She said five drug testing teams have been deployed on Wednesday. Each team will conduct drug tests in three schools, she added.

Santos said that after Metro Manila, the drug testing teams will proceed to Davao and Baguio.