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In its hope of keeping Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) a drug-free campus, the Center Against Illegal Drugs (CAID) and University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council (UCEAC) conducted the first ever Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing on Mandatory Random Drug Testing (MRDT) at the 8/F Media Room, Community Center of the First Companions, Jacinto campus, last September 2.

 

Present in the MOA signing were AdDU’s institutional partners: Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), Department of Health (DOH) Region XI, Philippine National Police (PNP), and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

 

CAID Director Atty. Romeo T. Cabarde Jr. emphasized the benefits of the said agreement. “With the drug-free campus and workplace, we are certain to increase our productivity, improve our morale, enhance our energy, reduce conflict, accidents, errors and turnovers.”

 

CAID Board Member Atty. Edgar Pascua II highlighted the basic principles guiding the MRDT:

 

First, the MRDT shall be implemented primarily for protection, rehabilitation, pastoral care and for the purpose of risk reduction associated with drug use in the university.

 

Second, it shall give the highest regard to the human and legal rights of its students and employees, hence, guarantees respect for their privacy and suspiciousness of the procedure.

 

Third, the MRDT aims to involve recognizing its significance in the formation of those who are in the care of the institution.  Lastly, it provides formal intervention which infuses the core values of AdDU formation programs.

 

Atty. Pascua showed the procedure of the MRDT and said that the kits to be used shall test for the presence of the common substances such as shabu and marijuana. However, this does not include the test for the presence of ecstasy and other forms of drugs.

 

University President Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ expressed his gratitude for the initiative of the legislators. “We thank all of you who are really trying not only this university but the Philippines drug-free,” he said.

 

The MRDT will be conducted inside the university premises with the help of university clinic personnel or other individuals duly authorized by CAID.

 

Written by Allan Acera, Jr. and Karl Maglana, BA Communication IV, ICOMMP Interns
Photos by Juan Genaro Halog, BA Communication IV, ICOMMP Intern