Youth group con­demns manda­tory drug test­ing in HEIs

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Top Stories -

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

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