Drug Tests to Include College Faculty Members

Article excerpt

Faculty members of colleges and universities across the country will not be spared from the random drug testing order of President Arroyo, according to Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) Chairman Emmanuel Angeles.

"Besides the students, we are also going to include faculty members of each college or university in the drug testing to ensure they are clean and can be helped if they are found using illegal drugs,'' Angeles told a news conference at CHEd office in UP Diliman, Quezon City.

"Faculty members should be free from illegal drugs because they serve as models for their students,'' he added.

Angeles said that faculty members found using the prohibited substance will be required to undergo rehabilitation.

"Faculty members found positive for substance abuse will not be allowed to teach, but will be made to undergo rehabilitation. If they fail to do this, this could be a ground for their dismissal,'' he stressed.

Likewise, he said that students found positive of drug use will be recommended for rehabilitation.

"The CHEd will strongly encourage their parents to have their children undergo counselling and rehabilitation process.''

Katherine Castaneda, CHEd Director for Student Affairs, said the Commission will only be able to test 15 students per university with its present allocation of P6 million.

But Castaneda said the Commission "will maximize the resources available so that more students will be subjected to the test.''

There are about 2.5 million students in 1,726 public and private higher education institutions nationwide.

Dr. Gonzalo Duque, the president of the Lyceum Northwestern University in Pangasinan and board member of the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU) welcomed the move by CHEd to include faculty members in the nationwide drug testing.

"I support the random drug testing on faculty members. …