House committee approves mandatory drugs testing

By on June 4, 2014

Thoric / Wiki Commons
Thoric / Wiki Commons

MANILA — The House Committee on Dangerous Drugs has approved a bill that seeks to amend the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 to allow the conduct of drug testing to all convicts, parolees, probationers and persons arrested that are suspected to be under the influence of illegal drugs.

Iligan City Rep. Varf Belmonte, chairman of the committee, led the approval of House Bill No. 2777 that aims to amend Section 36 of Republic Act No. 9165 on authorized drug testing.

ACT-CIS Rep. Samuel Pagdilao Jr., who penned HB 2777, said all prisoners, parolees and probationers shall undergo random drug testing to ensure that these persons are free from the use of dangerous drugs.

“This is mandatory and once it becomes a law, they can no longer invoke human rights because it would supersedes all laws contrary to the new one,” Pagdilao explained.

The bill is now in the plenary for debates.

The measure also seeks to immediately place arrested individual who at the time of their arrest are suspected to be under the influence of dangerous drugs under mandatory drug testing.

Pagdilao said the passage of HB 2777 at the committee level is a big leap as far as government’s drive against drug addiction is concerned.

The former police general-turned-politician said his bill is founded on the fact that many crimes were committed by offenders while under the influence of illegal drugs.

He also aims to ensure that prisoners are denied of access to illegal drugs. While it is true that inmates have restricted movements, it has been repeatedly reported that drugs are smuggled in through visitors, friends and families of inmates.

Likewise, parolees and probationers who report regularly to parole or probation officers are required to undergo drug testing to ensure that they are free from the use of illegal drugs.