CPADAO pushes for mandatory drug tests for teachers, random testing for students in Cebu
This was how the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office (CPADAO) described the news that a teacher and five senior high school students from a private college were arrested in a drug bust in Madridejos town on Wednesday.
CPADAO chief Carmen Remedios “Ivy” Durano-Meca told reporters in a press conference yesterday that this incident should serve as a call for concerned agencies to fully implement orders from the Department of Education (DepEd) to require students to undergo random drug tests and to intensify the implementation of mandatory drug tests among teachers.
“It’s sad to note that our teachers, whom we consider as our second parents, are part in the illegal drug trade. This meant (a greater) need to implement DepEd Orders No. 37 and No. 40,” said Meca.
The CPADAO chief was referring to the orders issued by Education Secretary Leonor Briones last year.
DepEd Order No. 37 requires elementary and high school teachers, both in public and private schools, to undergo mandatory drug testings. DepEd Order No. 40, on the other hand, orders the random drug testings of students.
DepEd has screened teachers for illegal drug use last year. For 2018, they are expected to start the test for students anytime soon.
Meca said they were now only waiting for the order from the Cebu province division of DepEd to begin the random drug test among students.
“We will coordinate closely with the different division of DepEd in the province. It was agreed that CPADAO will be leading the drug tests but only if DepEd-Cebu province division will give us the go-signal,” she said.
Meca said they now planned to extend the mandatory drug tests to teachers and students in the tertiary level by tapping the Commission on Higher Education in Central Visayas (CHED-7).
“This time, it is also the objective of CPADAO to coordinate with CHED. For the past years, we have not collaborated with them… but at this point, it is needed to focus on tertiary (students and schools),” said Meca.
The move came in the wake of the arrest on Wednesday of Pablito Miro, 31, marine environment teacher at the Salazar Colleges of Science and Institute of Technology (SCSIT) – Madridejos Campus, for alleged drug peddling activities.
The suspect was cornered by the Madridejos police in a buy-bust operation on Wednesday night but in his attempt to elude police arrest, he ended up leading authorities to a small wooden house where five senior high school students from SCSIT had just concluded a shabu (crystal meth) sniffing session and were caught with drug paraphernalia.
Those arrested along with Miro were Stephen Diongson, Czar Brian Lim, Michael Gidayawan, Salvador Atim and Jelson Medallo, all of whom are 18 years old.
Aluminum tin foils with shabu residue were confiscated from the students while police recovered from Miro four small sachets of shabu totaling 0.12 grams and valued at P1,064.
Miro reportedly admitted on using the illegal substance but denied allegations that he sold drugs to his students.
Miro’s arrest was not the first drug-related incident involving a teacher.
In October 2017, one elementary school teacher in Danao City was found positive of drug use in a random test among 50 teachers that was conducted by CPADAO and DepEd-Cebu province division.
Meca said the teacher is currently undergoing an outpatient drug rehabilitation program in Cebu.
Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III, meanwhile, urged the administration of SCSIT to impose appropriate disciplinary actions against Miro and the students caught in the drug bust.
“The school should take action immediately. They should discipline them. We don’t need those kind of teachers inside schools,” said Davide.
He suggested that teachers and students involved in illegal drugs must also undergo treatment and rehabilitation as soon as possible.
The SCSIT was contacted for comment on Thursday but Rosalie Angana, a staff from the office of the registrar of the school’s main campus in Cebu City, said their president, Dr. Doroteo Salazar, was the only person authorized to issue a statement regarding the matter and is currently out of the country.
Subscribe to our regional newsletter
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.