Capitol suspends random drug tests for public teachers

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva December 06,2015 - 01:34 AM

The Capitol will hold off random drug testing for public school teachers in Cebu province until a counseling and treatment program is  in place.

Joey Herrera, executive director of the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Commission (CPADAC), said the testing will likely be implemented in 2016.

This decision stemmed from the  request of Dr. Rhea Mar Angtud, Department of Education (DepEd) Cebu provincial schools division superintendent.

“She doesn’t want the testing to push through unless the (counseling and treatment) program is in place,” Herrera told Cebu Daily News yesterday.

At the Capitol, employees found positive for illegal drug use are referred to a doctor accredited by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) for counseling and treatment.

Herrera said the doctor will examine  the employees to determine the kind of intervention they will need.

He said the doctor detailed at the Capitol retired in October.

“That’s what’s holding up the drug test for teachers. We haven’t had any tests, even in the Capitol since then,” said Herrera.

The executive director said he will meet with representatives of the Department of Health (DOH) to seek help on the matter.

“We can always refer them to DDB-accredited doctors under the DOH. But I think (Dr. Angtud) just wants to make sure a program is really in place,” said Herrera.

After the meeting with the DOH next week, he said he still cannot tell how long it will take to complete the request of Dr. Angtud.

He said he is still optimistic that the random drug testing for public school teachers in the province will push through this year.

The DepEd in Central Visayas in June this year issued an order authorizing local government units in Cebu to conduct drug testing for all public school teachers in their areas.

It was the CPADAC that earlier requested the agency for this in the wake of the arrests of two teachers, one from Danao City and the other from Badian town, who were found using drugs.

Herrera earlier said that his office also received reports that more teachers have been using illegal drugs.

The CPADAC, through Herrera, consulted with the DepEd office in the province, which was still under the supervision of former division superintendent Dr. Arden Monisit, as early as February this year.

Both parties agreed in principle to conduct random drug tests on public school students as well.

The DOH 7 agreed to fund the testing for students while the province agreed to shoulder expenses for the teachers’ screening.

The agency also agreed to provide drug testing kits.

So far, only tests for public school teachers have been ordered by the DepEd 7.

The CPADAC has allocated P300,000 for the program.

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TAGS: Capitol, CPADAC, DDB, DepEd, Deped Cebu Province, DOH, Dr, drug tests, drugs, Joey Herrera, Rhea Mar Angtud

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