Youth group condemns mandatory drug testing in HEIs
Youth group Kabataan Partylist Northern Mindanao condemns the plan of the Commission of Higher Education (CHED) to conduct mandatory drug testing in universities, colleges and other higher educational institutions next academic year.
Vennel Chenfoo, Kabataan Partylist-Northern Mindanao coordinator said it is especially alarming for this to be implemented in Cagayan de Oro where there is a notable increase of drug-related killings.
“The recent incidents happened in almost the same manner and pattern of ‘nisukol maong namatay’ which is unlikely and hard to believe in,” Chenfoo said,
Chenfoo said the youth in the region will not allow President Rodrigo Duterte’s failing drug campaign penetrate universities in Northern Mindanao.
“Instead of doing its mandate in providing free and quality education for the youth, CHED commissioner Popoy de Vera blindly
follows Duterte in endangering the lives of the youth same as what the PNP and AFP have done through the red-tagging of activists and its organizations inside the universities,” he said, adding that several state universities in the region are still collecting fees despite the implementation of the Free Education.
“CHED should be focusing on this and not the bloody war on drugs,” he pointed out.
The martial law in Mindanao and the war on drugs is a dangerous combination that will threaten the lives of the youth, he said.
The Kabataan Partylist is calling on the youth sector to defend their academic freedom and basic rights inside the university.
“Let us not be cowed by the continuing attacks of the state and its apparatuses.” he added.
SK Federation President John Michael Seno however said the program has a good purpose and that is to ensure that the youth has a bright future.
A criminology graduate, Seno said he supports this move that he said is consistent with Duterte’s platform.
“It is important that at school, students are already cleared of illegal drugs before moving on to work. I was once a student and I saw that some students are really into drugs,” Seno said.
Seno also pointed out that it is important to choose friends that will influence you to good.
“Students should go to school not for any other reasons, but only to study hard,” he added.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) this week approved the move to conduct mandatory drug testing of college students as well as student applicants, after CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan recently approved CHED Memorandum Order Number 64, series of 2017.
The memorandum states all higher education institutions that want to implement mandatory drug testing should first conduct consultation with students. The drug tests are also confidential, with sanctions imposed upon school officials and medical personnel who will violate it.
The drug test must only be administered by drug facilities, physicians, and private medical practitioners who are accredited by the Department of Health. PJ Orias