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The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has welcomed the Polytechnic University of the Philippines' (PUP) move to have students and faculty members undergo random drug tests, in support to the government's anti-drug campaign.

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino hailed the initiative of PUP president Dr. Emanuel de Guzman, stressing that the measure is in line with a directive of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

Section 36 (Authorized Drug Testing) (a) of Republic Act 9165, The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, states that “Students of secondary and tertiary schools shall, pursuant to the related rules and regulation as contained in the school’s student handbook and with notice to the parents, undergo drug testing: provided that all drug testing expenses whether in public or private schools under this section will be borne by the government; provided further that the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education, as the case maybe, shall see to it that this provision is implemented.”

Some 800 students from five colleges and 200 employees and faculty members underwent random drug test on Thursday.

“The support of the academe to the national anti-drug campaign is helping keep our country and the future Filipino generations free from dangerous drugs,” Aquino said. 

“We hope other colleges and universities will follow the lead of PUP,” Aquino said.

Aquino added that the PDEA will assist in giving intervention to students who tested positive.

Earlier, Aquino said the common modus operandi of drug syndicates nowadays is to employ young recruits and give them the means to enroll in schools and universities not to study, but to entice and peddle illegal drugs to students. 

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