Statement of CHR spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on Commission on Higher Education’s mandatory drug testing for tertiary students

Statement of CHR spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on Commission on Higher Education’s mandatory drug testing for tertiary students

The Commission on Human Rights notes the intent of the Commission on Higher Education in ensuring a safe and drug-free environment for our youth by instating mandatory drug testing in colleges. We, however, equally impress the need for the government to address reasons for drug use among the youth, and caution against shifting the burden to a sector that we ought to protect.

Strict guidelines in its implementation should be observed, including a prohibition from imposing sanctions—be it administrative or criminal—to students who are found to be users or dependents, including those who refuse to undergo the random drug testing. And, instead of condemning, the government, alongside education institutions, should move towards reformation of users or dependents, towards upholding our youth’s right to education and their opportunity for a more productive life.