Makati urges youth to push drive for drug-free communities

MANILA -- Makati Mayor Abby Binay urged the youth from the city's schools and barangays to get involved in the ongoing Pag-asa sa Makati campaign against the drug menace, noting that it has reached close to 6,000 participants, mostly students from the city's public schools.

Launched in April 2017, the campaign aims to develop active youth advocates who will serve as the city's partners in the promotion of a drug-free Makati.

We are glad to note that the Pag-asa sa Makati campaign is fast gaining ground. We encourage more young Makatizens to participate in various training and activities being conducted in our schools and communities, Binay said.

The entire program is aimed not only to cultivate the skills and talents of the youth, but also to empower them to be great leaders and role models for their peers, she emphasized.

The mayor pointed out that participating in the campaign as youth advocates of drug-free communities was a much better and wiser option than joining fraternities or gangs. She said she hoped young Makatizens would be discouraged to do the latter after the fatal stabbing last Feb. 9 of a Makati High School student, which was linked to rivalry among fraternity groups.

I appeal to students and to all our young constituents to avoid any involvement with groups that breed violence, and to instead devote your time and energy to more productive endeavors, such as the Pag-asa sa Makati campaign, Mayor Abby said.

The Makati Anti-Drug Abuse Council (MADAC) has reported that to date, the drive has established student campaign groups, developed theater and arts skills among students, equipped the youth with peer education, and activated civic involvement in battling illegal drugs trade and use within barangays.

Since its launch in April 2017, the Pag-asa campaign has benefited thousands of public high school students in at least six barangays, including Poblacion and San Isidro in District 1 and Comembo, East Rembo, West Rembo, and Pitogo in District 2.

The respective Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADAC) of the said barangays collaborated with the MPOC and MADAC to implement programs integrating arts and multimedia tools. These include two major workshops, Basic Integrated Theater Workshop (BITAW) and Repertory Theater Guidance (RTG), which were launched last year to train teachers and establish core campaign groups of students initially in six target public schools.

From April to November last year, 96 teachers had been trained, along with 507 students from Fort Bonifacio High School, Makati High School, San Isidro High School, Pitogo High School, Benigno Ninoy Aquino High School, and Tibagan High School, who became members of their own school's core campaign groups.

Many of them have expressed delight over the opportunity to take part in such an undertaking which empowers them to speak out on relevant issues like the drug problem, and to positively influence their peers towards self-improvement, rather than self-destruction.

Also launched under the campaign were the Inter-School Song Making Contest, Festival of Plays, a series of school play performances, barangay outreach performances, and poster making challenge events. A total of 434 students from the six public schools and from private junior high schools participated in the said activities, which gained a combined audience of 4,430 consisting mostly of public and private school students, and also parents and other young residents.

Meanwhile, from July to December 2017, MADAC hosted 31 Drug Abuse Prevention and Control (DAPC) lectures among 21 elementary schools and eight high schools in the city.

MADAC also held an event called Film Showing Kotra Droga which ran from November 27 to December 28, 2017, covering 29 barangays and villages in the city and catering to a total of 1,619 residents including children, youth, and parents.

MADAC had also conducted drug prevention training, seminars, and lectures for private institutions, including Questronix Corporation, Pasay Rotary Club Southeast, and Globetek Science Technology. (Makati PR)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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