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P23M budget for new drug-testing technology pushed in Senate

MANILA, Philippines — The government is eyeing a new drug testing technology that can detect drugs substance in just less than 10 minutes.

At a budget hearing on Monday, the Dangerous Drug Board (DDB) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) told the Senate that they are seriously considering a pilot test of this technology.

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It was Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III who brought up the topic of the compact drug testing kit by a Turkish company where he said results could be known after just eight minutes.

“My question is, does the DDB or the PDEA have a budget for this type of new drug testing kits?”

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Senator Panfilo Lacson, who was defending the proposed 2020 budgets of DDB and PDEA, said the two agencies have no budget yet for said technology but are willing to conduct a pilot test of it.

He said DDB and PDEA are also willing to help the firm secure the license to operate and certification of product registration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“Kasi kung walang FDA certification baka mahirapan silang gamitin (Because if there’s no certification, they might have a problem using it) officially but right now, they are seriously considering the pilot-testing,” Lacson said.

Sotto welcomed the government’s openness to try the new technology and suggested to have a budget for it in the proposed 2020 national budget.

“…Perhaps we should include already in the budget of the DDB and the PDEA the budget for the procurement of this. So just in case it is approved by the FDA, they can do a test for 2020…” the Senate leader said.

Lacson backed Sotto’s proposal to fund the estimated P23 million cost of procurement and implementation of the new drug testing technology.

“So maliit lang naman (So it’s small)…I think after the pilot test, kung maganda ang resulta (if the results are favorable), at least may budget na for 2020,” he said

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READ: Sotto surprises Senate staff with random mandatory drug test

Edited by JE

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