In view of recent concerns pertaining to the establishment of drug-free environments in school, the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) will issue a policy on the proposed conduct of surprise inspection of student bags and lockers in schools after thorough consultations with stakeholders and duty-bearers.

This is to ensure that proper procedure will be implemented by appropriate authorities, rights of students will be protected and their safety will be upheld.

As a member-agency of the Board, the Department of Education (DepEd) which already expressed deep concern over this proposal of the Philippine National Police will be included in the consultation.

“We will study this proposal to determine its potential to strengthen the drug prevention campaign in schools and if necessary, we will issue a Board Regulation to ensure its proper implementation,” DDB Secretary Catalino S. Cuy said in a statement sent to the media.

Meanwhile, the DDB urged school administrators and personnel to continue the implementation of school-based drug prevention programs like the National Drug Education Program, Barkada Kontra Droga, and the conduct of Random Drug Testing.

“Drug prevention programs in schools are already in place. These have proven to be effective in deterring drug use and instilling the importance of leading healthy and drug-free lifestyle among students,” Secretay Cuy stated.

The National Drug Education Program is currently implemented in elementary and secondary schools, in coordination with DepEd. This entails five components which include curriculum and instruction, co-curricular and ancillary services, teacher and staff development, parent education and community outreach, and research, evaluation and monitoring.

Barkada Kontra Droga, on the other hand, is a peer-based preventive education and information program which aims to enlist young people as catalysts within their peer groups in advocating healthy and drug-free lifestyle.

Random drug testing among students in public and private secondary high schools has also been implemented in accordance with the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and DDB Regulation No. 6, Series of 2003 as amended by Board Regulation No. 3, Series of 2009.

The DDB also initiated policy related actions to propose for the amendment of certain provisions of RA 9165 that will establish clear mechanisms on the drug testing processes for various sectors and settings. This is a work in progress with legislators in both houses of Congress that the agency looks forward to be acted upon with urgency.