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CSU cancels policy requiring enrollees of drug test

Editor’s Note: In an earlier version of this story, we put the headline, “CSU mandatory drug test policy.” Although we were clear about the policy “requiring enrollees to undergo drug test as part of their requirement for admission,” it did not represent the whole position of CSU that the policy was only amended, not revoked. The headline has been updated. We also added the new statements released by Fr. Aquino. We apologize for the mistake.

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Cagayan State University (CSU), in a surprise move, cancelled its new policy requiring enrollees to undergo drug test as part of their requirement for admission.

In a statement posted in his Facebook page, Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, the university vice president for finance and administration, said the school administration have reached an agreement with the Philippine National Police (PNP), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Department Health to allow permanent enrollment of students even without drug test results.

The administration overturned its newest policy more than a month after it was announced.

However, Aquino said drug tests will be administered during the semester but “in accordance with the laws and rules.”

“Henceforth, all enrollments shall be considered permanent enrollment. The Administration will meanwhile continue working out the mechanism for drug-tests during the semester,” Aquino said.

“Denial of admission will only be for the most serious grounds, when there is a real threat to the security and well-being of the university community,” he added.

For students who test positive for drugs, Aquino said they will be referred to the Department of Social Welfare Development upon conferring with their parents. “Whether or not they will be retained in the university will be a decision made after the university officials confer with parents and with the Director of Student Services and Welfare.”

Aquino did not elaborate why the administration did not push through with the policy.

He earlier said that 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).

It was, however, the same decision which reiterated the provision of the R.A. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act that drug tests for students must be mandatory but random and suspicionless.

Prior to this announcement, the administration had also extended the period of enrollment as health facilities could not accommodate the number of students who are requesting to undergo drug test.

‘No time, money wasted’

Aquino, in a new statement early Saturday, Augsut 12, clarified that students who have already undergone drug test will no longer be subjected to the updated policy of drug test during the semester.

This means, according to him, that students did not waste their money and time in securing their drug test results.

He clarified that the administration did not “revoked” the drug test policy, but instead, they only amended it.

He said in implementing the drug test policy during the semester,  the university will take into consideration: existing jurisprudence on Academic Freedom as enunciated by the Supreme Court; provisions of Republic Act No. 9165; decisions of the Board of Regents; and relevant CHED orders and memoranda. Northernforum.net

This story was also published in Rappler.com.

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