PDEA Region XI calls for mandatory drug testing in private schools, Deped opposes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 27, 2019   •   1270

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Region 11 has called for mandatory drug testing in private schools in the region.

According to PDEA Region XI Spokesperson Noli Nephi Dimaandal, this aims to help the students who are into illegal drugs.

“This purpose is not to shame the student but to help if they tested positive in the random drug test. There will be an intervention program for them,” he said in an interview.

PDEA also confirmed reports on minors who tested positive in random drug tests. The youngest is a 4th-grade student.

“Just because you tested positive, it doesn’t mean you will be put into rehabilitation facilities. No, he will undergo DDE or Dangerous Drug Examination and the doctor will be the one to validate his independence level if the child needs to enter a rehabilitation center or [if] he just needs guidance, counseling, or aftercare program,” Dimaandal added.

This was opposed, however, by the Department of Education (Deped) XI.

Deped XI Spokesperson Jenilito Atillo said the department will not join PDEA in their said call for a mandatory drug testing in private schools.

“You have to contend with the rights of the child so this is literally and basically an overhaul of the specific provision of the constitution,” he added.(with reports from Janice Ingente)

DepEd urged to heighten measures vs consumption of ASF-tainted products in schools

Robie de Guzman   •   November 8, 2019

 Filipino children are seen in front of a school in Manila, Philippines, 08 October 2019 (issued 11 October 2019). EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

MANILA, Philippines – A senator has urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to heighten precautionary measures to prevent students from consuming pork products tainted with African Swine Fever (ASF) in schools.

In a statement, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said DepEd should exercise vigilance following reports that processed pork meats from China tested positive for ASF, as well as some skinless longganisa and hotdog products from local manufacturer, Mekeni.

“Sa mga feeding program na isinasagawa ng DepEd, halimbawa, dapat siguruhin ng ating mga guro na gumagamit sila ng mga malinis at mapagkakatiwalaang mga produktong ipakakain sa mga bata,” he said in a statement.

While ASF does not pose a threat to human health, the senator said schools should raise awareness and exhaust all sanitary measures to protect students from ASF-contaminated products.

Gatchalian also cited an advisory from the Department of Health which identified uncooked and undercooked contaminated pork as a source of ASF’s spread in swine herds.

Health authorities said the swine disease is introduced into a herd when contaminated raw pork is ingested by a pig. The virus spreads when contaminated pigs get into direct contact with other pigs.

Food waste, feed, and garbage can also cause ASF when ingested by pigs.

“Etong mga hakbang na maaari nating gawin, nagsisimula ito sa responsableng pamimili at lubos na pagluluto ng karne sa mga paaralan. Ito ay upang maiwasan natin ang pagkakasakit ng mga mag-aaral pati na rin ang pagkalat pa ng ASF,” he said.

The Department of Agriculture earlier said that the illegal importation of pork products from China was responsible for the spread of the ASF virus in the country.

Gatchalian also urged DepEd to involve parents in efforts to raise awareness on sanitary practices and preventive measures.

“While schools play an important role to protect our students’ health, it is important that we also extend our efforts at the household level. Kahit gawin ng mga paaralan ang lahat ng pwedeng gawin kung hindi naman nababantayan sa mga bahay nila, malalagay pa rin sa panganib ang ating mga estudyante,” he said.

Deped welcomes House’s plan to review K-12 program

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 22, 2019

The Department of Education (Deped) welcomes the plan of the House of Representatives to review the K to 12 basic education program.

In a statement, Deped said the department is willing to coordinate with the members of Congress to plan a more effective implementation of the said program.

“DepEd hopes the outcome of the review will spur renewed commitment and initiatives among lawmakers, advocates, and other stakeholders in aid of realizing the K to 12 program’s overall goal – hone holistically developed Filipino learners with 21st century skills,” Deped said in a statement.

On Sunday (October 20), House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said that the Lower House is in consensus that the K to 12 Program has to be reviewed.

“We in the House are of the consensus that K-12 is not living up to its promise, which is, after you finish senior high school, you don’t have to go to college. You gain skills to be employed,” he said.

Cayetano said there are still issues needed to be addressed including the lack of equipment of several schools to fully implement the said program.

The education department said they will work closely with Congress to address the issues of the K to 12 Program.

“A dedicated review session will provide an appropriate venue to comprehensively discuss concerns about the program and plot out corresponding solutions,” their statement reads.—AAC

Classes still suspended in 3 Mindanao areas after strong quake — DepEd

Robie de Guzman   •   October 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Classes for some 1.9 million students in three regions in Mindanao remain suspended after a strong earthquake jolted parts of the island on Wednesday, Oct. 16, the Department of Education (DepEd) said Friday.

In a statement, DepEd said the magnitude 6.3 temblor affected around 3,873 schools with 1,989,260 learners from 17 divisions in Davao, Soccsksargen and Bangsamoro regions.

The tremor also damaged a total of 40 schools, based on DepEd’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service released on Friday.

The department said a date for the resumption of classes in the said areas has yet to be announced.

DepEd assured it will “facilitate the delivery of immediate assistance to ensure learning continuity.”

As of Thursday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) recorded more than 400 aftershocks ranging from 1.5 to 5.5 magnitude and intensity of I to VII since the strong quake.

The quake left five people dead and 89 others injured, according to an update posted by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

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