PDEA holds anti-drug youth camp in Caloocan

MANILA -- As part of the strategy aimed at reducing demand for drugs, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Caloocan City government conducted a three-day training program for the youth to provide them with coping skills to face situations which can lead to drug use.

PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino said the camp, held from July 6 to 8 at Amparo Eco Park, discussed the development of effective mechanism to reduce drug demand among the youth and strengthened local law enforcement cooperation on drug-related cases affecting the youth.

One of my responsibilities as the PDEA chief is to strengthen drug education among the youth because young people are vulnerable to illegal activities like illegal drug use, Aquino said in a statement.

During the camp, the participants met and exchanged ideas, best practices, cultural experiences, talents and skills aimed at building a strong foundation to cope with challenges and situation which can lead to drug use and abuse.

Among the topics discussed were Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Act of 2002; Role of Youth, Teachers, Community and its Leaders; Resisting Drugs and Violence; Duties of Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (ADACs) and Barangay Anti- Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs); and the briefing for the Structure Program as Drug Advocates.

Aquino said the youth camp was made possible after a series of planning and coordination meetings between the Caloocan City government and PDEA Preventive Education and Community Involvement Service (PDEA-PECIS), adding that a series of anti-drug youth camps will be rolled out this year.

These days, drug abuse is becoming an increasing trend and playing a bigger role in youth culture. Drug abuse has become more prominent among the youth as drugs have become increasingly accessible. Thus, there is a clear need for effective drug programs directed towards the youth. This youth camp is one of them, Aquino pointed out.

Earlier, PDEA opened the 30-bed capacity Balay Silangan All-Female Reformation Center, the country's third community-based reformation center for drug offenders at the North Medical Center, Camarin Road in Caloocan City.

The Balay Silangan Reformation Center or house of hope aims to shelter drug offenders as they turn themselves into self-sufficient and law-abiding members of society.

The PDEA chief thanked the Caloocan City government for its support to PDEA as he urged all local government officials and stakeholders to support the government's campaign against illegal drugs.

Aquino said the initiative is the agency's pilot harm-reduction program aimed at boosting efforts to clear 26,000 barangays in the country of illegal drugs.

This program shows that PDEA values life, despite pursuing the war against drugs, he said, noting that government agencies want former drug offenders to have the opportunity to rehabilitate so they could regain their dignity and place in society. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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