PDEA holds random drug testing in Davao’s secondary schools

ADAC is a multi-agency council that campaigns against drug abuse. It includes the PDEA and the Department of Education.

SP02 Ma. Rosario Yambao- Suarez told MindaNews the test will be done in coordination with guidance counselors in the randomly selected schools.

Suarez heads PDEA's preventive education and community involvement division.

She said they will find means to address those who need rehabilitation and will try as much as possible to keep those who tested positive to stay in school.

Suarez announced at the I-Speak press conference of the Davao City Information Office Thursday the graduation of 66 guidance counselors out of a hundred who trained on rehabilitation and treatment of drug users, with special focus on the students.

The graduates were taught counseling and other preventive and treatment interventions for students identified to be drug users using a module developed by ADAC in coordination with PDEA and DepEd.

She said the goal is to provide an environment for drug users to encourage them to stay in school and veer away from the stigma of being sent to the "rehab" (rehabilitation).

She said the trained guidance counselors are just an initial batch of a breed of counselors in schools to help those who tested positive of the random tests and those students whom the school administration has identified and talked to about their drug use.

Suarez said that even if it is Davao City alone whose doing the random tests in schools as of now, it is a provision of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Suarez said the school intervention is backed by the City Government and the Local School Board. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)