TEACHERS and students all over the region are expected to undergo surprise drug testing, according to the Department of Education (DepEd).

Assistant Secretary for Legal and Legislative Affairs / Partnership and External Linkages Atty. Tionisto Umali said DepEd is eyeing mandatory drug tests for all teachers and students consented by parents, in all public schools nationwide.

“Pinag-uusapan na po iyan, kung ano yong parameters. Sa estudyante ay random selection, sa teachers, lahat po iyan, pinag-uusapan po ang mandatory testing, para po masigurado na lahat sila ay malinis sa ipinagbabawal na gamut, iyong mga guidelines ay ikinakasa na,” Umali said.

Umali told Sun*Star Baguio the drug testing is a testament of DepEd’s support to the intensified campaign against illegal drugs under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The DepEd official meanwhile said teachers who are drug users will be given intervention program while pushers will be dealt with accordingly.

“It depends on the degree of their addiction, we can rehabilitate, or give hospital quality intervention and it will be at the expense of the government,” he explained.

Earlier, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones in a report told teachers are required to take drug tests at their own expense before they are hired.

Currently, there are 722,000 teachers according to the latest record of DepEd.

Umali meanwhile said the department is also planning to incorporate illegal drug education in the curriculum for schools and the alternative learning system.

The DepEd official added Briones wanted to include and develop materials like film, drama or songs instead of just textbooks discussed in Mapeh and Science for Grade IV.

“The Anti-Illegal Drug Use Campaign through enhancing the curriculum on anti-illegal drug use education is not just teaching the modules directly, aside from the educational materials this will be partnering with the Philippine National Police personnel to educate the children but it is a different approach from the Oplan Tokhang methods,” Umali said.

Umali was recently in the Summer Capital as keynote speaker during the 10th National Congress and Seminar-Workshop on Promoting Good Governance though Freedom of Information / Dep-Eds Legislative Agenda and Updates on the K-12 Program at Teacher's Camp with the theme: "Integrity, Transparency and Accountability: Prerequisites to Good Governance and Quality Education Services under the New Administration."