News Release

Palace backs DepEd stance against drug testing of grade school students

Cagayan de Oro City — Malacañang on Monday, June 25, rallied behind the position of the Department of Education (DepEd) to oppose the drug testing of grade school students as proposed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

In a press briefing held here in Limketkai Atrium, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Jr. said the Palace will acquiesce to the decision of DepEd regarding the issue.

“We concur with Secretary Briones that the Dangerous Drug Act limits possible drug testing to high school and not to grade school students,” Roque said.

“Nagsalita na po si Sec. [Leonor] Briones. Ang Dangerous Drug Act daw po ay ipinagbabawal ang drug testing sa elementarya. Pupwede lang tayo magkaroon ng drug testing sa high school,” the Palace official added.

Secretary Roque said Briones’ position is anchored on what has been upheld by the United States regarding the same issue of drug testing to minors.

“We take the side of Secretary Briones invoking that in the United States, what has been upheld as being constitutional is only random testing for high school,” Roque stressed.

Roque, in the same press briefing, discussed the current pronouncement of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte that the economy is in the doldrums.

The President’s spokesperson mentioned the need to fast track the transition to a federal form of government in order to equalize progress among regions in the country.

“Nahuhuli pa rin po ang mga probinsya sa pag-unlad at nahuhuli rin po ang mga probinsya pagdating po sa mga proyekto,” he said, citing the Build Build Build initiative of the government should be prioritized.

The Palace official likewise said provincial Build Build Build projects need to be implemented at the soonest possible time for it to help in the economic progress.

“At siyempre ‘yan ay panawagan din para sa taumbayan at sa Kongreso na suportahan ang pederalismo nang mawala na itong bias sa mga probinsya pagdating sa pag-unlad,” Roque said.

Roque took the occasion to call for Charter change to spur development in the countryside..

‘Palace welcomes the construction of Passenger Terminal Building in CDO’

In the same press briefing, Secretary Roque relayed the good news to the people of Cagayan de Oro that a two-storey passenger terminal building (PTB) will soon be constructed in the city and is expected to be completed on December 15 of this year.

Once operational in December of this year, this will be the largest passenger terminal building in the country that can accommodate approximately 3,000 passengers daily.

Roque, meanwhile, lauded four Kagay-anons who cracked a spot in the Top 10 of the recent nursing licensure examinations.

“Pinapakita nito na magagaling at masisipag mag-aral ang mga Kagay-anons, ipinamamalas din nito ang mataas na kalidad ng mga unibersidad at kolehiyo rito sa CDO,” he said. ###PCO-Content