Protecting students from drug peddlers
THE Department of Education’s objection to the proposal of the Philippine National Police to make random searches of schoolchildren’s and student’s lockers and bags as a measure to protect the latter from being easy preys to drug peddlers is understandable. The student found in possession of drugs or of drug-use should not be made to suffer a stigma.
However, if parents were asked today if they approve of the proposal, we believe there will be a resounding “yes”, with perhaps the condition that any finding of drug-use should not be made public, particularly to media.
The parents (and the police) realize that the danger signs are out there, particularly in schools that are located in known drug-affected communities. There have been teachers found to be users. And, three years ago, we reported the discovery by police of peddling shabu in candy forms, and of attempts of drug syndicates to develop future market by selling shabu for P2 to Grade 6 pupils.
It is, therefore, not enough simply for DepEd to object to the PNP proposal. It is incumbent upon our school boards and school officials to adopt policies that will keep our schools drug-free. Additionally, our Parent-Teachers’ Associations must come to terms with the reality that our teens today are most vulnerable to peer pressure particularly in experimenting drug use.
The fact remains that a tolerant view of the illegal drug problem in schools will undermine the educational process itself. The students must be protected from drug-peddlers reach.
OVERTAKEN by events like “The Kiss” in Seoul was President Duterte’s much-applauded signing recently of Republic Act No. 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business Act. The law cuts to three working days the processing time for government agencies and state-owned and –controlled corporations for simple transactions; seven days for complex matters; and, 20 days for highly-technical deals—and only minutes for completion of a driver’s license. All LGUs must now produce an Ubaf (Unified Business Application Form) for business permits, clearances and other types of authorizations, and to set up one-stop shops to facilitate similar applications. The law established the Arta (Anti-Red Tape Authority), under the Office of the President, to implement the rules and monitor compliance. Said the President: “We will finally spare our people from the intolerable waiting time and long lines in frontline government agencies.”
May the force of the lovely law be with us, Amen.
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