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

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 27, 2019   •   1469

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)

Muling pagbiyahe ng provincial buses sa Davao, ipinagpaliban

Robie de Guzman   •   May 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Ipinagpaliban muna ang nakatakda sanang pagbabalik-operasyon ngayong araw ng pampublikong provincial buses na bumibiyahe mula Davao City papunta sa iba’t ibang lalawigan sa Davao region.

Ayon sa management ng Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (DCOTT), hindi pa umano handa ang mga lokal na pamahalaan ng mga karatig-lugar na tumanggap ng mga pasaherong manggagaling sa Davao City na may naitalang mga kaso ng novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Dili musugot atong mga kasigpit nga municipalities and provinces, di pa sila ready nga mudawat sa atoang mga pasahero nga maggikan diri sa Davao City because they don’t have facilities yet pa daw, hatagaan pa nato silag panahon,” ani Aisa Usop, ang head ng DCOTT.

(Ayaw pumayag ng mga kalapit nating municipalities and provinces, hindi pa sila ready na tumanggap ng ating mga pasahero na manggagaling dito sa Davao City because they don’t have facilities pa raw. Bibigyan natin sila ng panahon.)

Ayon kay Usop, humihingi pa ng karagdagang panahon ang mga karatig-lalawigan na makapaghanda ng isolation centers para sa mga pasaherong maaaring makitaan ng sintomas ng COVID-19.

Nasa ilalim na ng general community quarantine (GCQ) ang Davao City simula noong May 16 at ngayong araw sana nakatakda ang pagbalik sa operasyon ng provincial buses sa Davao Region.

Nilinaw naman ng Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board na hindi pa talaga maaaring bumiyahe ang lahat ng provincial buses dahil hindi pa naiisyuhan ng special permit ang mga ito.

Sa ilalim ng GCQ guidelines, maaaring payagang bumiyahe ang ilang piling uri ng transportasyon sa isang lugar kung may special permit ito at nakakasunod sa health and safety protocols.

Kabilang sa protocols ang pagsusuot ng face mask para sa mga pasahero, driver at konduktor; ang pagpapatupad ng mga hakbang bilang pagsunod sa social distancing measures gaya ng pagmamarka sa mga upuan kung saan lang maaaring pumuwesto ang mga pasahero; kailangan ding gumamit ng cashless o contactless na paraan sa pangongolekta ng pasahe upang mabawasan ang physical contact.

Nakasaad rin sa guidelines na limitado lang ang bilang ng mga pasaherong maaaring isakay sa mga pampublikong bus, jeep, taxi at traysikel upang maiwasan ang pagsisiksikan. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Marisol Montaño)

‘Face to face’ classes subject to DOH clearance—Deped

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 11, 2020

The Department of Education (Deped) reiterated that face-to-face classes “shall only be allowed when the local risk severity grading permits, and subject to compliance with minimum health standards.”

Deped Secretary Leonor Briones said schools that would want to conduct face-to-face classes should first secure clearance from the Department of Health (DOH).

“There are places na zero [cases]. Like Bohol, nagkaroon sila ng dalawa, pero ngayong under control na (they had two cases but now the situation is under control). We have to get clearance from the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) and DOH,” she said.

Briones also said that even if face-to-face classes will be allowed, the number of students in a classroom would be limited from 15 to 20 students per class.

Physical distancing and minimum health requirements directed by the DOH and the IATF-MEID will also be implemented.

Meanwhile, Deped Usec. Anne Sevilla said private schools can begin the opening of classes before August 24. However, the Education Department will not allow the face-to-face classes.

“Ang choice ng mga eskwelahan (The options of schools) will depend on the local public health situation. So definitely, sa locality ay hindi pwede ang face-to-face, (in the locality, face-to-face is not allowed)” she said. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

Gatchalian says home-based learning may be ‘new normal’ in upcoming school year

Robie de Guzman   •   May 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Learning from home may become the “new normal” for millions of students when school year 2020-2021 opens in August, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said on Wednesday.

In a statement, Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate committee on basic education, arts and culture, said that the Department of Education (DepEd) should use every platform to ensure the continued education and safety of more than 27 million learners amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

He said the mix of digital, low-tech, and no-tech methods will help DepEd reach all learners, especially those in the far-flung areas without access to the internet.

Since not all learners have connectivity and available gadgets for online-based learning, the senator said that television and radio will be key to reaching more learners nationwide.

“Marami pa rin sa ating mga mag-aaral sa buong bansa ang hindi nakakagamit ng internet, kaya malaki ang potensyal ng radyo at telebisyon upang maipagtuloy natin ang edukasyon sa loob ng ating mga tahanan,” Gatchalian said.

“Sa pagpasok ng SY 2020-2021, mahalagang magamit natin lahat ng paraaan upang maipagpatuloy ang edukasyon ng ating mga kabataan at mapanatili ang kanilang kaligtasan,” he added.

The lawmaker also proposed that the number of subjects under DepEd’s Learning Continuity Plan be reduced only to core subjects amid the health crisis situation.

He also suggested that the time leading to the opening of classes on August 24 should be spent on preparing teachers, parents and learners on using different tools for home-based learning.

The DepEd earlier said it is studying various modes of learning for students depending on the situation in their areas. Its guidelines will be released when finalized.

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