/ 3 May 2021

SILLIMAN University students denounced the school’s decision to implement mandatory drug testing for incoming freshmen.

The Student Government said that mandatory drug testing is “dangerous, insensitive, and irresponsible” especially amid the government’s drug war.

“As we know, the drug war under Duterte has resulted in the systematic massacre of innocent Filipinos, and to welcome this effort into a University that prides itself in being a safe space is counter to that,” it said.

It added that students should not be made to shoulder the cost of drug testing.

“While we recognize the good intentions behind the implementation of the mandatory drug testing program by the SU Administration in which they aim to have a drug-free campus and help students who are drug-dependent through counseling programs and rehabilitation, we believe that preventive and proactive measures are more effective rather than reactionary and risky methods such as mandatory drug testing in coordination with concerned government agencies,” the group said.

The students said that the university should instead focus on Covid19 vaccination program for faculty, staff and students to ensure their safety and well-being.

“We demand the SU administration to create and maintain policies and programs that are responsive to the community’s needs, that are sensitive to the current socio-political climate, and place the safety of the students first,” it added.

The university said it decided to implement mandatory drug testing once face-to-face classes resume.

The Commission on Higher Education allows higher education institutions to conduct mandatory drug testing as part of their admission and retention policies.