Health expert backs intervention programs, not mandatory drug tests, for kids

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 27 2018 05:02 PM

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MANILA - The Philippines needs to invest more in intervention programs rather than mandatory drug tests to protect school children from the influence of narcotics, the government's special envoy for global health initiatives said Wednesday. 

Dr. Susan Mercado said protecting kids from illegal drugs needs a holistic approach that tackles substance abuse, mental health and violence.

"Parenting...is the most important intervention, but when we look at low-income settings where parents are working late hours or you have OFWs and parents who are single, that's where the community comes in and helps support families so children feel loved and the are not exposed to abuse," she told ANC.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency last week said it will push for mandatory drug testing among teachers, and students in grade 4 and up. But Malacanang said it will not support the proposal because the law limits drug testing to high school students.