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CHR on CSU’s mandatory drug test policy: Lack of guidelines may put child’s rights in danger

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TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Wednesday, July 26, reacted to the new policy of Cagayan State University (CSU) requiring enrollees to undergo mandatory drug test as requirement for admission. (READ: CSU won’t accept enrollees using illegal drugs)

In a text message to The Northern Forum, CHR spokesperson Jacqueline De Guia said the commission, although supporting the principle the anti-drug campaign of the government, fears that the lack of guidelines on the policy of mandatory drug test may violate students’ rights.

“The Commission fears that the absence of guidelines formulated in a democratic, consultative manner this drug testing focused on the youth of this land can potentially put the child’s human rights in danger if being violated,” CHR said.

The commission said that these measures should be “fully compliant with the international and Constitutional standards upholding, promoting and protecting the rights of the child.”

It added that the school administration must abide by the conditions for random drug testing under the RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Acts, which include:

  • The testing is conducted pursuant to related rules and regulations as contained in the school’s student handbook; and
  •  The testing is conducted with notice to the parents.

Father Ranhilio Aquino, CSU Vice President for Administration, earlier said the new policy has “established jurisprudence.”

He said the implementation of the policy was based on an “established jurisprudence,” citing a decision of the High Court on the case of the Social Justice Society v. Dangerous Drugs Board, G.R. 157870 (November 3, 2008).

The court said the provisions of R.A. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act requiring mandatory, random and suspicionless drug testing of students are “constitutional.”

“Indeed, it is within the prerogative of educational institutions to require, as a condition for admission, compliance with reasonable school rules and regulations and policies. To be sure, the right to enroll is not absolute; it is subject to fair, reasonable, and equitable requirements,” the decision said. Northernforum.net

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